4th At Le Mans Puts Julian Simon 2nd In Championship
A good, clean and -most of all- dry French Grand Prix was undertaken by the Moto2 riders at Le Mans this afternoon, in the series’ fourth race of 2011. The skies had threatened downpours throughout the morning, but in the end only a few drops came down and did not disrupt the race. The protagonists in the race were almost exactly the same as those at Estoril, but the twist in the tale was a victory for Marc Márquez. Stefan Bradl had taken an early lead, followed by Simón, Márquez, Luthi, Takahasi and Espargaró. Their pace of 1’38 broke them free from the rest, before the podium of Márquez, Takahashi and Bradl was decided.
Starting from ninth and fourth after the opening lap, Julián Simón eventually held on to that position when the chequered flag came down. His main objective was to get off to a good start, and the MAPFRE Aspar rider managed to do so. This kept him in the fight for the podium as the laps went by. Waiting to pass Luthi on the final lap, he almost caught up with Stefan Bradl before the end. However, fourth place was a strong result that catapults him into second place in the Moto2 standings.
Teammate Xavi Forés had worse luck, as a collision on the opening lap halted his progress at Le Mans. Rejoining the race, the Spaniard felt a pain in his knee and was unable to place higher than 29th.
4th Julián Simón:
“I am happy with my performance in the race today, above all with my start and opening laps. I pushed really hard at the start, because I didn’t want to lose any positions. I knew that the end result would depend on me getting into the group at the start. Going all-out off the line is the key, and I could see that today. I will bear that in mind for the next race. What worried me most today was losing touch with the lead pack, so I achieved my aim. My main obstacle to a podium today was the problem that Bradl had at the end of the race. Takahashi passed him and I also tried to, but I had to go too wide. Once a few spots of rain fell on the track, Márquez could get a bit further clear. I was able to overtake Luthi on the final lap, and I would have liked to have reached Bradl. This fourth place feels like a podium to me.”
29th Xavi Forés:
“I had a pretty good start, but on the double corner I was hit from behind under braking. I was completely taken out. I came back onto the track in last place and very shaken, and tried to focus on the race. Then my knee started to hurt. I wanted to make back up some more positions but it was impossible, and whenever I stuck my leg to the bike I felt a lot of pain. This problems made me drop my pace a lot compared to previous days. We have to move on from this and focus on Montmeló, which is a circuit that we know well and at which we can do well.”
Source: Aspar Media