Fabio di Giannantonio: “Good battle with Marc”, Bezzecchi “didn't need a double crash”

Fabio di Giannantonio hails his "best weekend" as a VR46 rider, but Marco Bezzecchi leaves Le Mans with zero points after falling in both races.

Fabio di Giannantonio, Marc Marquez, 2024 French MotoGP
Fabio di Giannantonio, Marc Marquez, 2024 French MotoGP

By the midway stage of the French MotoGP, Fabio di Giannantonio was holding a podium place behind only the factory Ducatis of Francesco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin.

di Giannantonio had also set what would be the second fastest lap of the race, but was now starting to come under pressure from fellow GP23 rider Marc Marquez.

After holding off Marquez for four laps, the Italian was forced to yield to the eight-time world champion, then received a long lap penalty for cutting the first chicane during his defence.

Ultimately, the time lost didn’t alter his finishing position of sixth - with Maverick Vinales five-seconds ahead - as di Giannantonio matched his best result so far as a VR46 rider.

“I'm super happy, the best weekend so far with the team,” di Giannantonio said. “After the warm up, I felt really good, the sensations while riding were excellent.

“I got off to a great start, I was in a battle with Aleix [Espargaro] and I knew I had a good pace. At the end I have struggled a bit with the rear tyre, the bike was shaking a lot and I had to raise the pace a bit.

“The others came from behind, I tried to hold the position. A pity for the long lap, but I'm happy. We had a good race and a good battle with Marc [Marquez]. Let's sort out the last details and fight with the strongest guys in Catalunya.”

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

di Giannantonio’s delight was in stark contrast to team-mate Marco Bezzecchi. The 2022 Le Mans winner left France with zero points after crashing in both the Sprint (while in a podium place) and then Sunday race.

“It's a shame, we didn't need a double crash because we were very competitive,” Bezzecchi said. “At the touch of gas, I lost the front. It's a kind of feeling that I've had since the beginning of the season and that we need to work on.

“I don't think I could have stayed with Jorge [Martin] and Pecco [Bagnaia], but perhaps with Enea [Bastianini] and Maverick [Viñales] yes.

“I was fighting with Enea when in an overtaking, I couldn't do anything to avoid the crash.

“The riding sensations were good, the bike wheeling a lot at the start, but perhaps the top 5 was possible. Let's analyse all the data and try again in Barcelona.”

di Giannantonio’s 13 points this weekend have moved him ahead of Bezzecchi for ninth in the world championship.

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