MotoGP: Rain hits test of new Le Mans surface

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Rain has hit a one-day MotoGP test at Le Mans, leaving a number of riders not taking to track after heading to the home of the French Grand Prix to test out a new surface, after the Bugatti circuit was resurfaced ahead of this month’s race.

The Repsol Honda duo of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, their satellite counterpart Cal Crutchlow, the factory Yamahas of Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales, the Red Bull KTMs of Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaró and test rider Mika Kallio, Aprilia’s Sam Lowes and Aleix Espargaró and Ducati test rider Michele Pirro all headed to France for the outing, with Suzuki the only manufacturer not to field a rider at the test.


However, with heavy rain leaving the track damp in the morning, the Repsol Honda pair elected to instead sit out the test, saving one of their valuable and limited test days to use later in the year.

The biggest development from the test seems to have been the debut of KTM’s new ‘big bang’ firing order engine, with Pol Espargaró making the switch from the traditionally firing engine that the firm started the season on. The move makes KTM the last manufacturer to make the move to a big bang after Honda switched at the start of the 2017 season.

The riders will now head from Le Mans to Jerez, with the first European round of the 2017 season kicking off at the Spanish circuit on Friday.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer