moto3 / Miracle Mir wins the GP of France to strengthen championship advantage
The talent of Palma de Mallorca made a resounding comeback in the second race at Le Mans, after tan early red flag. His direct championship rivals fell and the Spaniard saw his points advantage grow as a result. His teammate Loi struggled in a difficult race and closed just outside the points.
At 11 o’clock local time, the traffic lights at the Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans, host of the fifth race of the 2017 season, went off. The Leopard Racing Team duo started from the third and fifth row respectively with Joan Mir (8th) and Livio Loi (13th). Both were feeling confident after a sweet Warm Up session, Mir setting a new circuit record, besting that of Bastianini in 2015 while Loi suffered a small fall with no ill-effects.
An excellent start for Joan Mir, who in the first lap surpassed his opponents by taking the Italian Fenati and poleman Martin early. The trio who are leading the world standings were all in the lead. Unfortunately, at the start of the second lap at Turn 6, Norrodin’s bike lost oil in an accident in the previous lap and caused a mass crash. Race Direction quickly brought out the red flag: a quick start and the race reduced to 16 laps.
Mir was sore, especially with his left leg, and lost several positions at the start but stayed within the top 10 as Loi closed in on the edge of the points. Mallorca’s talent continued to run fast to enter the Top 3 in just one lap. His countryman, Martin, slipped off at Turn 6. Mir locked on to Fenati and started closing in almost immediately.
Times fell again and Mir began to put pressure on Romano Fenati. But on the seventh lap at Turn 7, the Italian lost the front and gave the race leadership to the Leopard Racing Team. In just three lap, the leader of the world ranking Mir opened a gap of over four seconds. Meanwhile, Loi pulled his knife, fighting even harder against Suzuki in 15th position.
With a triumphant ride, Joan Mir crossed the finish line of Le Mans and wins the Grand Prix de France 2017, his third win in five races, the fourth overall in his career. As a result of the strong race and struggles of his rivals Fenati and Martin, Mir strengthens his leadership in the championship, rising to 99 points. Now, two weeks until Mugello…
#36 Joan MIR – 1st:
“This is a circuit I always liked, although I did not imagine this triumph after the first part of the race. When I fell, I thought it was because of a bad tyre. Then I turned and saw all those behind falling in sequence: one of them struck me at the leg. I raised the bike and came back to the box but was in a lot of pain. In the second race I paid a lot of attention going through Turn 6, Martin himself slipped shortly afterwards. I did not go very well and after a few corners found myself back: I was in a full battle. Meanwhile Fenati and co were pushing ahead, but I was calm because I knew I had a good pace. I just thought about pushing him to get him, he was on the limit.”
#11 Livio LOI – 16th:
“In the first race I fell together with others, I could not do anything to avoid it: mine was among the most damaged bikes. I want to thank the mechanics for doing a great job to fix it in such a short time. Unfortunately it was a tough race, we must look forward and work hard for Mugello to change direction.”
Moto3™ Race – Gran Prix de France 2017:
1 – Joan MIR / SPA / Leopard Racing / Honda / 16 laps
2 – Aron Canet / ITA / Estrella Galicia 0,0 / Honda / +2.252
3 – Fabio di Giannantonio / ITA / Del Conca Gresini / Honda / +4.365
4 – Marcos Ramirez / SPA / Platinum Bay Real Estate / KTM / +4.469
5 – Juanfran Guevara / SPA / RBA BOE Racing / KTM / +4.845
16 – Livio Loi / BEL / Leopard Racing / Honda / +16.639
Moto3™ World Standing 2017:
1 – Joan MIR 99
2 – Romano Fenati 65
3 – Aron Canet 63
4 – Jorge Martin 59
5 – John McPhee 53
14 – Livio LOI 15