Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) not only won the Gran Premio Red Bull de España (Round 6 of the 2022 MotoGPTM World Championship), but he also took ad...
The Shark Grand Prix de France (Round 7 of the 2022 World Championship) saw Michelin’s MotoGPTM tires contribute to new track-lap, fastest race-lap and shortest race-duration records for Le Mans-Bugatti. In front of more than 110,000 spectators (another record!), Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) reveled in the splendid weather to pick up his third victory of the year, ahead of Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing).
Racing on ‘home’ turf at Le Mans, the MICHELIN Power range provided yet more evidence of its potential and consistency in spite of the summery temperatures that prevailed throughout the weekend.
The outstanding grip they delivered helped no fewer than 11 riders better the previous track lap-record for the 4.185-kilometer loop (the work of Johann Zarco) during either Free Practice 3 or qualifying. The new benchmark (1m30.450s) was clocked by pole-sitter Francesco Bagnaia who bettered the Frenchman’s effort of 2018 by a whole 735/1,000
In the course of Sunday’s grand prix itself, 10 riders improved on the former race-lap record (1m32.309s, posted by Maverick Viñales in 2017) which is now held by Francesco Bagnaia (1m31.778s).
The day’s win, however, ended up in the hands of Bastianini who completed the 27-lap contest some 15 seconds faster than the previous shortest race duration after qualifying fifth on the grid. At lights-out, the Gresini rider got away well and, clearly confident in his choice of medium and soft MICHELIN Power Slicks front and rear, went on to nudge past Bagnaia on Lap 21.
The latter fell shortly afterwards, handing second place at the flag to Miller (soft MICHELIN Power Slicks front and rear), ahead of Espargaro.
Backed by the huge, partisan crowd, local heroes Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) came fourth and fifth respectively.
Four of the six available MICHELIN Power Slicks specifications were selected for the race, although there were a few last-minute changes of mind due to the hot conditions. While all three fronts were chosen (soft, medium and hard), only the soft rear was fitted.
The meeting featured FIM MotoE World Cup action, too, and the first of the weekend’s two races was won by Mattia Casadei (Pons Racing 40), with Sunday’s victory going to Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP MotoE). No less than 46 percent of the raw materials employed to manufacture Michelin’s 2022-spec rear MotoE tire – which performed remarkably in the sunshine – come from sustainable sources.
Quartararo (102 points) continues to top the provisional Riders’ standings, ahead of Espargaro (98) and Bastianini (94).
Next round: Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley, Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, Italy (May 27-29).