2021 MotoGP French Grand Prix Preview

MotoGP returns this weekend for the latest round of the 2021 season. The Grand Prix weekend is once again set to feature MotoE alongside the three regular classes.

MotoE began its 2021 season last time out in Jerez where Italian Alessandro Zaccone took the early championship lead, claiming the race victory ahead of Dominique Aegerter and reigning champion Jordi Torres. The 2019 MotoE champion Matteo Ferrari started the season finishing sixth.

In Moto3 rookie sensation Pedro Acosta leads the championship by 51 points from Niccolo Antonelli who himself only has a two point advantage over third placed Andrea Migno.

Acosta hasn’t finished lower than second across the four races contested so far this season and has won the three races prior to this weekend. With teammate Jaume Masia having won the season opening Qatar Grand Prix it also means that the Red Bull KTM Ajo team have won the opening four races of the season.

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Incidentally Masia will begin the weekend fifth in the championship one point behind Romano Fenati and three ahead of Darryn Binder who are directly ahead and behind the Spaniard in the standings respectively.

In Moto2 Remy Gardner begins the weekend as the championship leader having finished inside the top five in the opening four races of the season. The Australian has a three point advantage over nearest rival Sam Lowes.

Lowes bounced back from an early retirement at the Portuguese Grand Prix to finish third in Jerez. The Briton has Moto2 rookie Raul Fernandez directly behind him in the championship, with three points separating the two heading into this weekend.

While on the subject of Moto2 a mention to Fabio Di Giannantonio who won the previous race in Jerez, for the late Fausto Gresini’s Moto2 team, and in doing so became the third different race winner this season. The Italian is fifth in the championship, four points behind countryman Marco Bezzecchi and 21 points ahead of Joe Roberts who is sixth.

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In the premier class Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia goes into the Grand Prix weekend leading the championship, two points ahead of nearest rival Fabio Quartararo. Bagnaia has begun the 2021 season having finished on the podium in three of the opening four races. Added to this is that the Italian heads into the fifth round of the year off back to back podiums in the two races prior to this weekend.

It is perhaps a good situation for Quartararo to be second entering his home race when taking into consideration the Frenchman suffered arm pump during the Spanish Grand Prix. This issue put an end to what had initially been a dominant display at Jerez, and required him to undergo surgery after the race weekend.

Completing the top three in the MotoGP championship is Maverick Vinales who has faded slightly after impressing in the two races held in Qatar. Since then the Spaniard finished eleventh in Portugal and seventh in Jerez. He has a one point advantage over fourth placed Joan Mir and a two point gap to Johann Zarco who is fifth.

Marc Márquez y Pol Espargaró. GP de Portugal 2021” by Box Repsol is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Amongst everything that will unfold during the weekend’s Grand Prix, and taking into consideration how impressive Quartararo has been so far this season, and also keeping in mind the performance of Zarco in Qatar. It will be interesting to see if the two Frenchman can get anywhere near to repeating their 1-2 finish in the second race in Qatar at their home Grand Prix this weekend.

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