After finishing the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez with both its riders in the top five, the Ducati Team is ready to take it back to the track at Le Mans (France) for the fifth round of the MotoGP World Championship. At the Bugatti Circuit – which shares the first section with the historic Circuit de la Sarthe, home of the famous 24 Hour car race – Ducati took six podiums overall, the last of which dates back to last year when Danilo Petrucci took second place with the Pramac Racing Team colors starting from first row. 

As Petrucci, Andrea Dovizioso – who already finished on the podium at Le Mans with Ducati in 2015 (3rd) and was particularly competitive last year before crashing out of the race while in the lead – is also keen to make the most of the French track’s characteristics to be a protagonist during the weekend and rewrite the statistics. For the occasion, the factory Desmosedici GPs will feature a brand-new livery with Dovizioso and Petrucci’s personalized logos on the fairings. Heading into round five, Dovizioso is third in the Riders standings with 67 points, only 3 points behind provisional leader Márquez, while Petrucci is fifth with 41 points to his tally. Ducati is second in the Manufacturers standings with 70 points, while the Ducati Team leads the Team rankings with 108 points. 

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 2nd (67 points) 
“At Le Mans we should be more competitive than in the last round, at least on paper, even though last year in France the race didn’t go as planned. Weather conditions always play a key role at Le Mans, and it’s crucial to be able to manage this variable to your advantage. At any rate, I expect to have many fast rivals out there, so it’ll be important to start off on the right foot since the very first session and prepare ourselves as well as possible for the race. The Desmosedici GP has some characteristics that we can take advantage of in France, but we need to iron out some details to maximize our potential and play our cards right on Sunday, which is when points are given. I’m confident we can ride a strong race.”

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 5th (41 points) 
“Le Mans is one of my favorite tracks, and it features many hard-braking areas and quick accelerations that suit the characteristics of our Desmosedici GP, so much that last year in France I probably rode my best race ever to finish second. Our target for this round is the podium, which I think is within our reach. We didn’t finish far from it at Jerez, but first of all we’ll need to be quicker in qualifying to ride at the front since the very start of the race. It’s never easy to put all the pieces of the puzzle together at this level, but we have what we need to be competitive and take another step forward in the right direction.”

The Ducati Team will resume action Friday, May 17, at 09:55 local time (CET) for the first free-practice session.

Words and Photos: Ducati Media House