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16/05/2022 News

A weekend to forget

Le Mans, France, May 16th  2022 - The Bugatti circuit didn't bring much luck to any of the Elf riders. Be it in MotoGP, Moto2 or Moto3, there was no ‘rendez-vous’ with success.


Rarely has the Tech 3 team experienced such a difficult French Grand Prix. Like all the KTM riders, Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez struggled during practice and didn’t make it to the chequered flag. Aboard bikes that were difficult to hustle through the tight Bugatti circuit bends, the Australian and the Spaniard both crashed out shortly after the start. “We are sorry that we couldn't do better in front of our fans," commented Hervé Poncharal. “But we have to try to stay positive, keep pushing and hope that the team’s hard work will pay off. We are now looking forward to Mugello.”


It has been a long time since the Elf Marc VDS Team came away from a Grand Prix without scoring a single point. Unfortunately, the 2022 French round didn’t go according to plan for either Sam Lowes or Tony Arbolino. The Brit rider suffered a heavy crash in qualifying as he was battling for pole position. After taking part in the warm up, Lowes was declared unfit to race. “I had a very sore neck, but more importantly I had problems with my vision," he explained. “Because I had trouble judging distances, the doctors wouldn't let me start the race. It was the most reasonable decision to make.” Tony Arbolino crashed at Turn 6 on the second lap of the race as he was fighting his way into the points. Ninth on the grid, the Italian experienced stability problems under braking at Le Mans that prevented him from taking the third podium he had been dreaming of, after his excellent start to the season.


Deniz Öncü was expecting more from his French Grand Prix. The Tech 3 rider suffered a big crash in practice and had to settle for tenth place on the starting grid. A position that handicapped him at the start of the race. “I made a lot of mistakes today," admitted the Turkish rider. “I lost places... I tried to come back and overtake the two riders in front of me on the last lap, but it wasn't enough. I wanted a win, or at least a podium, I am very disappointed.” Adrian Fernandez got off to a bad start and took chequered flag in twentieth position. Commented Hervé Poncharal, "Unfortunately, as we have seen so often this year, Deniz wasn’t able to stay in the leading group despite making a good start. I think we have an engine handicap, which means he kept losing ground as the race continued. We score some points, but we are not here just to ‘score some points’. We are here to fight for wins and podiums."


Hector Garzo and Alex Escrig struggled to get to the front of the field in the two races at the Bugatti circuit after qualifying back down the grid. Garzo finished fifth in the first race on Saturday and eighth in the second the following day. Escrig finished tenth and twelfth in the second race. “We qualified well in Jerez, but we were not able to repeat that performance in Le Mans," admitted Hervé Poncharal. “In this class the bikes are all the same and the race is so short that it is essential to get a good grid position. In both races Hector and Alex rode at a similar pace to the others, but they were too far back to do anything.”


Remy Gardner


22nd (3 point)

Raul Fernandez


23rd (0 point)


Sam Lowes


11th (35 points)

Tony Arbolino


4th (70 points)


Deniz Öncü


6th (70 points)

Adrian Fernandez


22nd (7 points)

MOTOE Alex Escrig 10th and 12th 9th (27 points)
Hector Garzo 5th and 8th 8th (32 points)