Sunday, May 18, 2014

Aoyama 14th, Hayden DNF for Team Drive M7 Aspar in MotoGP LeMans Round 5

18/05/14. 05 GP FRANCE - LE MANS - RACE                                                                                                      


Hiroshi Aoyama picks up points but Nicky Hayden knocked out of the race after contact with another rider

The fifth round of the MotoGP World Championship saw a mix of riders at the front in the early laps as Andrea Dovizioso took early control and pole man Marc Marquez dropped back into the pack. Rossi, Bradl and Pol Espargaró joined Dovizioso at the front, with Rossi eventually able to take the lead and open a gap, but series leader Márquez clearly had the pace as he came through from tenth place, reeled the Italian in and made his escape. Rossi was comfortable in second place as Alvaro Bautista completed the podium in third. A fifth straight win of the season for Márquez means that he equals Spanish legend Jorge Martínez Aspar’s career tally of 37 career GP wins. 

There were contrasting fortunes for the DRIVE M7 Aspar Team riders, Hiroshi Aoyama making up two positions on the first lap and another on the second lap before completing a lonely ride to take two points in fourteenth place. His team-mate Nicky Hayden was less fortunate, however, the American missing out on the points for the first time this season after being torpedoed by another rider in the second corner. Luckily Nicky was unhurt in the crash and he will be ready to fight again at Mugello, one of his favourite circuits, in a couple of weeks' time.

14th Hiroshi Aoyama: “Today was a tough race but luckily after starting from seventeenth on the grid we have come through to take a couple of points in fourteenth. The plan for the race was to put together a fast and consistent pace, especially on the first laps, and we have improved in comparison to recent races so I am happy about that. Unfortunately the higher temperatures today compared to yesterday worked against us and with the soft tyre the feeling wasn't the same as the rest of the weekend. My pace wasn't as fast as I wanted at the end of the race but we will try to improve again at Mugello in two weeks.”

Nicky Hayden (DNF): “The team have worked really hard all weekend and we have made some progress as a result, even in the warm-up this morning. So it is a shame that the weekend ended like this, with a crash that wasn't my fault. Look at the data it was probably my best start of the season so far but as we went through the chicane I could feel another rider touch my handlebar and I couldn't do anything to avoid the crash. It is a shame for the team and for me but sometimes these things happen in racing. Luckily I am okay and we just have to look ahead to the next round.”



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