Having taken the MotoGP World Championship lead for the first time in 2018 with dominant victories in Austin and Jerez, Marc Marquez now arrives at Le Mans - a circuit renowned for mixed weather and, in Marquez's case, mixed results.

The Bugatti circuit’s stop-and-go layout has proved tough for Marquez and Honda to master in recent seasons, including race crashes in 2016 and 2017, prompting a range of new downforce fairings to appear at recent tests in Jerez and Mugello.

It remains to be seen if Honda will decide to use their one available in-season fairing update to try and help with acceleration this weekend.

Marquez, who holds a 12-point lead over home star Johann Zarco, hasn’t been on the podium in France for the past three years, but won in 2014 and was on the rostrum as a rookie in 2013.

Repsol Honda Team

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"Le Mans is a track where we’ll have to work hard and do our best to try and keep the good momentum," Marquez said.

"In the past, we’ve been able to win or get on the podium there on some occasions, and other times we’ve struggled to get on pace, but as I always say, every season is different.

"Of course there will be question marks about the weather, the tyres, and the setup, but our mentality and approach will be the same as always: positive.

"This year we’re already at a good level as we head to France, so we’ll see how the weekend goes. We’ll try to start well beginning on Friday and then fight for the podium on Sunday.”

Team-mate Dani Pedrosa is already 52 points behind Marquez after his suffering his second non-score of the season during the multi-bike incident with Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso in Jerez.

"I’m happy with the work we did with the team during the days of testing after the last round; it gives me confidence and makes me look forward to the next race," said Pedrosa, who inherited third in last year's race, behind the Yamaha's of Maverick Vinales and Johann Zarco, after Valentino Rossi's last lap fall.

"The French GP always presents many challenges, starting with the weather, which can be quite unpredictable. The temperature may be low, which can cause challenges with the tyres. We’ll try to keep our focus and have a good race.”



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