10 MotoGP Facts From the 2017 MotoGP Race At Le Mans

By the Numbers: Fun facts and stats from the French GP at Le Mans.

MotoGP at Le Mans
Wet conditions for the 2017 MotoGP race at Le Mans?Photo: Ducati Team

The Le Mans circuit has a long tradition of GP motorcycle racing. Below are some facts, stats and fun trivia related to the MotoGP in France:

  • 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.
Giacomo Agostini
Giacomo Agostini on the MV Agusta.Photo: Motorcyclist Archives
  • Of the 15 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.
  • 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).
Pedrosa in P13
Dani Pedrosa will start from the fifth row in P13 for the 2017 French GP.Photo: Repsol Honda
  • If Dani Pedrosa wins in France he will become the second oldest rider after Loris Capirossi to win back-to-back races in the MotoGP era.
Rossi wheelie
Valentino Rossi wheelies after securing P2 on the Le Mans grid.Photo: Yamaha Racing
  • Following the Spanish Grand Prix, Valentino Rossi heads the MotoGP Championship with 62 points. This is the lowest points total for a rider leading the premier-class Championship after four races since the current scoring system was introduced in 1993.
  • Rossi is also the first rider to head the MotoGP standings after four rounds without winning a race since Nicky Hayden in 2006.
Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda team
Casey Stoner at Le Mans 2011.Photo: MotoGP
  • The only non-Spanish rider to win a MotoGP race at Le Mans in the past eight years is Casey Stoner, in 2011.
CS27
Casey Stoner at Le Mans, 2011.Photo: MotoGP
  • In the MotoGP era, starting in 2002, only six rookies have scored more points than Johann Zarco over the opening four races of the year: Daijiro Kato in 2002, Troy Bayliss in 2003, Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner in 2006, Jorge Lorenzo in 2008, and Marc Marquez in 2013.
Johann Zarco at Le Mans
MotoGP rookie Johann Zarco will start on the front row in P3 at Le Mans.Photo: Yamaha Racing
  • Zarco and Loris Baz will be joined at Le Mans by 2014 WorldSBK Champion and former MotoGP rider Sylvain Guintoli, who is substituting for the injured Alex Rins on the factory Suzuki. This is the first time since the Italian Grand Prix in 2007 that three French riders will line up on the grid for a MotoGP race.
  • Jorge Lorenzo is the rider with the most Grand Prix victories at Le Mans, having stood on the top step of the podium on six occasions at the French circuit; a single win in the 250cc class and five in the MotoGP class.
JL99
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team starts the 2017 French Grand Prix on Row 6 in P16.Photo: Ducati Team