Quartararo Finishes Fourth at 2022 French MotoGP
At his home circuit, reigning Champion Fabio Quartararo from the ENEOS-sponsored Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team earned a fourth place finish after a rough start to the 2022 Shark Grand Prix de France at the legendary Le Mans circuit. Although the French fans were hoping for a podium finish, the result kept him in the lead of the 2022 championship standings. Teammate Franco Morbidelli rode to 15th, earning a single championship point.
Starting from P4, El Diablo wrestled with a busy pack in the opening corners, finishing his first lap in a lowly eighth. On lap 3, Alex Rins crashed out and Quartaro picked up momentum, passing Marc Marquez shortly after.
After reaching P6, the Frenchman was the fastest man on track with a small gap to Aleix Espargaró. By lap 11, they both caught Joan Mir in fourth place, who later crashed on lap 14. With Francesco Bagnaia also crashing on lap 21, Quartararo suddenly had a fighting chance of a podium position. Although he came extremely close, he was unable to make the move, crossing the finish line fourth, only 4.288sec from first.
“While I didn’t have a great start, I matched the pace of the top guys, which was the best I could do,” Quartararo explained. “It was difficult to overtake, but I didn’t give up. It’s time to take more risks in order to defend my championship lead.”
Meanwhile, Morbidelli had an unexpected off-track moment on the sighting lap but was able to stay upright and reach the starting grid. After a few chaotic opening laps, he settled into 19th position.
As the Le Mans circuit had challenged many riders all day, the Italian kept his focus and finished 15th, claiming a valuable championship point. Morbidelli said, “I had a difficult race because I got stuck in the pack, and couldn’t find much mid-corner speed. We saw some good progress but now we have to work harder to get the job done.”
Following the French GP, Quartararo maintains his lead with 102 points while Morbidelli ranks 17th with 19 points. Yamaha and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP moved to second in the manufacturer standings with 102 points and continue to hold third in the team championship with 121 points.
Quartararo and Morbidelli head to Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello on May 27-29, 2022 for the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley.