Marco Bezzecchi: “Everything was under control” then “a real shame”…

Marco Bezzecchi crashes out of second place late in the Le Mans Sprint race.

Marco Bezzecchi, French MotoGP 2024
Marco Bezzecchi, French MotoGP 2024

Marco Bezzecchi looked set to back up his Jerez MotoGP podium with a Sprint rostrum at Le Mans on Saturday, as he shadowed race leader Jorge Martin for the opening ten laps.

But with Marc Marquez starting to close on the duo, Bezzecchi pushed to respond and suddenly lost the front on entry to the Esses, with 3 laps to go.

“I felt really good, everything was under control,” said the VR46 rider, winner of last year’s French Grand Prix.

“I had a great pace, Jorge (Martin) was closer and I understood that Marc (Marquez) was coming from behind and I tried to push to open the gap a bit.

“I made a mistake at turn 9 and couldn't recover.

“I didn't brake too late, but I leaned the bike a bit earlier compared to the lap before, and doing this, the front just closed.

“It wasn't necessary, a real shame to have missed the podium.

“I can't be happy, but it was important to confirm ourselves as competitive here too.

“Tomorrow, I think the pace will be different, there will also be the weather to understand, but we can do well.”

The Italian’s exit means he is yet to score a Saturday point this season but team-mate Fabio di Giannantonio - who started just ahead of Bezzecchi in fourth - at least broke his 2024 Sprint drought with seventh place.

But he felt much more was possible.

“In qualifying I had an excellent feeling, I felt I had a margin that I wasn't able to make the most of due to the yellow flags. In the race however, I immediately started to have a particular feeling,” di Giannantonio said.

“It's a shame, I have struggled, we need to analyse the data and understand, our potential was certainly different. 

"Overall I finished the Sprint in the points for the first time this season and I know I have the pace to be with the best tomorrow. We just need to understand what the weather will do.”

Rain is forecast for Sunday.

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