Rossi targets a return to the podium at Le Mans

by Joshua Close

Valentino Rossi has set his sights on a podium finish at Le Mans this weekend as he looks to stay with the championship leaders.

The Italian is currently fourth in the championship, however he is only nine points behind series leader, Marc Marquez. The veteran has two podiums so far this season, although he did struggle a little at Jerez two weeks ago.

Rossi failed to make it out of Qualifying 1 and had to settle for 13th on the grid. He would find some improvements on race day however and crossed the line in sixth.

Heading into Le Mans, a circuit that has favoured him in the past, Rossi is confident that he can be competitive on the Monster Yamaha. He said:

“The Jerez test was quite positive and I think we can also try something during the weekend in France. Le Mans is a track that I like a lot, and our Yamaha is usually competitive there. The goal is to have a good weekend, work well from FP1 onwards, and be fast from the first day.

“We had a good race pace last year, so we want to start working from there. I’m hoping for good weather to work in throughout the weekend, so we can show our full potential. I want to get back on the podium, and we will do our best with the team.”

Rossi has three victories in the premier class at the French circuit, in 2002, 2005 and 2008. He also has a further 10 podiums to his name. He almost made it four victories in 2017, only to crash out of the race on the final lap whilst battling his team-mate, Maverick Vinales.

The weekend’s action at Le Mans begins on Friday (17 May 2019) with Free Practice 1 at 08:55. This will be followed by Free Practice 2 at 13:10. This is followed by qualifying on Saturday afternoon, which begins at 13:10.

The race itself is scheduled to take place at 13:00 on Sunday (19 May 2019).

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