2018 French GP (MotoGP) – Preview

After a dramatic Spanish Grand Prix, whereby Marc Márquez took what was a dominant victory in the end, the biggest talking point was the remarkable racing incident which took out Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa, and Andrea Dovizioso, which has changed the complexion of the 2018 MotoGP World Championship, which now heads to the home of French motorsport Le Mans to race on the shorter Circuit Bugatti.

Márquez (70 points) leads the world championship for the Repsol Honda Team by 12 points over Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Johann Zarco (58 points) heading into Zarco’s home race.

Márquez was dominant in the race at Jerez, but has been down just a touch on his normal performance over a qualifying lap, but overall, Márquez is heading towards the form that won him the first 10 races of the season back in 2014, and I sense he could go on a winning streak!

However, Zarco will be keen to stop him at his home race, where he picked up his first MotoGP podium last year, and at the moment, Zarco looks to be the only Yamaha that is genuinely capable of winning races!

This might be a disservice to the winner of last year’s French Grand Prix, Maverick Viñales (50 points), who sits in third in the championship for Movistar Yamaha MotoGP after finishing a satisfying, but ultimately disappointing seventh at the Spanish Grand Prix. However, after almost 12 months since his last victory in MotoGP, you don’t get the sense that the winless run for Viñales is going to end this weekend.

It is more likely though that either Andrea Iannone (47 points) for Team Suzuki Ecstar, or Dovizioso (46 points) for the Ducati Team will challenge for the win after their recent performances, particularly Iannone after two-straight podiums, but also Dovizioso after challenging for the podium in Jerez before the spectacular end to his race.

However, Valentino Rossi (40 points) will be in the same boat as his teammate Viñales, with the chances of victory being unlikely at Le Mans, while Cal Crutchlow (38 points), who took pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix will be hoping to stay on his bike after failing to score in the last two races. He cannot afford another mistake if he wants to remain in championship contention, because at the moment, he is wasting the potential of the bike, and himself!

Meanwhile, Jack Miller (36 points) is making good use of last year’s Ducati Desmosedici GP17 for Alma Pramac Racing with four top 10 finishes, and is just ahead of his teammate Danilo Petrucci (34 points), who is riding the newer Ducati Desmosedici GP18.

Tito Rabat (24 points) completes the top 10 in the championship for Reale Avintia Racing after four-straight points-scoring finishes.

So, who is going to win the French Grand Prix?

At the moment, you cannot go past Marc Márquez winning his third race in a row, but I think it is going to be competitive behind, with Jorge Lorenzo to show the form that he showed in Jerez before the crash to take second-place, with Johann Zarco to finish in third in front of his home crowd in a huge battle pack!

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