French MotoGP Facts and Figures

Rennie Scaysbrook | May 17, 2017

The French MotoGP Returns for 2017

Le Mans has been the scene of some cracking races in the past. What will 2017 bring?

MotoGP returns to one of the most famous racing venues in the world this weekend. The Le Mans venue has hosted motor racing for well over a century and is the homeland of French motorsport, so here’s a few facts and figures for you on this massive event.

  • Le Mans has hosted a grand prix event on twenty-nine previous occasions, including the Grand Prix “Vitesse du Mans” in 1991, which is the only year that two grand prix events have been held in France in the same year.
  • Le Mans was first used for a Grand Prix event in 1969, when the 500cc race was won by Giacomo Agostini on an MV Agusta as he lapped all the other riders in the race.
  • This is the 18th successive year that the Le Mans circuit has hosted a motorcycle Grand Prix event, starting in 2000.
  • In addition to Le Mans, there have been seven other circuits that have hosted the French GP: Paul Ricard (13 times), Clermont-Ferrand (10), Nogaro (2), Reims (2), Rouen (2), Albi (1), Magny-Cours (1).
  • Since the introduction of the four-stroke MotoGP™ formula in 2002, Honda have had seven wins at Le Mans, the last of which was three years ago with Marc Marquez.
  • Yamaha have also had seven MotoGP wins at Le Mans, including for the last two years with Jorge Lorenzo.
  • Last year at Le Mans, Lorenzo crossed the line 10.654 seconds ahead of teammate Valentino Rossi—Lorenzo’s largest margin of victory in a dry MotoGP race.
  • Chris Vermeulen took his single MotoGP win at Le Mans in 2007 riding a Suzuki. Prior to Maverick Viñales winning at Silverstone last year, this was the only GP victory in the four-stroke MotoGP™ era for the Hamamatsu factory. Viñales finished third at Le Mans last year, which was the first MotoGP podium for Suzuki since Loris Capirossi was third at Brno in 2008.
  • The best results for Ducati at the Le Mans circuit are second place finishes for Loris Capirossi in 2006 and Valentino Rossi in 2012.
  • The only non-Spanish rider to win a MotoGP race at Le Mans in the past eight years is Casey Stoner, in 2011.
  • There have been five GP wins by French riders at the Le Mans circuit: Jean Aureal won the 125cc race in 1969, Guy Bertin the 125cc race in 1979,
  • Patrick Fernandez the 350cc race in 1979, Mike di Meglio the 125cc race in 2008 and Louis Rossi the Moto3 race in 2012.
  • The best result by a French rider at Le Mans in the MotoGP class is 4th by Olivier Jacque in 2003. French riders twice finished on the podium in the 500cc GP class at Le Mans; Raymond Roche was second in 1985 and Christian Sarron third in 1987.
  • Of the fifteen MotoGP races held at Le Mans, nine have either started in wet conditions or have been rained on during the race. The only years that the MotoGP™ race at Le Mans has been run under full dry conditions are: 2004, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
  • The seven Moto2 races that have taken place at Le Mans have been won by six different riders: Toni Elias, Marc Marquez, Tom Lüthi, Scott Redding, Mika Kallio and Alex Rins. The only rider to have more than a single Moto2 win at Le Mans is Tom Lüthi, who is also the only previous Moto2 winner at Le Mans still competing in the class.
  • None of the seven previous Moto2 races at Le Mans have been won by the rider starting on pole position.
  • The five Moto3 races that have taken place at Le Mans have been won by five different riders: Louis Rossi, Maverick Viñales, Jack Miller, Romano Fenati and Brad Binder. The only one of these victories not on a KTM machine was the win by Louis Rossi in 2012, when the Frenchman was riding an FTR Honda.


Rennie Scaysbrook | Road Test Editor Our newest member of staff is our Road Test Editor Rennie Scaysbrook. A lifetime rider, the Aussie made the trek across the Pacific to live the dream in the U.S. of A.