Early season leader Sam Lowes bounced back from a disappointing DNF in Portimao to take third place last time out in Jerez - a result that saw him split the two Red Bull KTM Ajo riders in the championship. 

Remy Gardner leads the way on 69 points but is only three ahead of Lowes, while team-mate and standout rookie Raul Fernandez is third on 63. 

Through four races we’ve seen three different winners including Lowes twice, Fernandez and Fabio Di Giannantonio. 

Marco Bezzecchi is currently fourth after his best finish of the season at Jerez (second place), while Di Giannantonio is fifth in the standings - both riders within a win of Gardner. 

Although a lap is yet to be turned at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Lowes might be best placed going into Friday’s FP1 as he was victorious in Le Mans eight months ago. That result came in wet conditions which is expected to be the case once more.

"I am really looking forward to this race after our podium in Jerez and I have fantastic memories of winning here in 2020," said Lowes. 

"I am very motivated to make a great weekend, as many of the guys in my side of the garage are French or speaking French! 

"Le Mans is a technical track with lots of hard braking, but I always enjoy riding there. We have some areas to improve on and will start working hard on Friday."

Of the top three riders Gardner is yet to win in 2021, however, the 23 year-old’s consistency has seen him finish no lower than fourth and therefore led to him being in the position of championship leader. 

Much like Lowes, Gardner will be looking for a repeat performance of the one he had in France last season which was second place. 

Gardner faced some issues during the Jerez race that meant he was unable to challenge Lowes for third, something he’s hoping to eliminate in order to have a better outcome on Sunday.

"This weekend we will work to resolve the small issues that we suffered at the last Grand Prix – and thus be able to fight for a better position," said the Australian.  

"Le Mans is a different circuit from the rest: It has very strong braking, but at the same time, the direction changes are fast. However, it is a track that I really like, and I find it fun to ride at. 

"The weather at this Grand Prix is always tricky, so we have to be smart, make no mistakes and take things lap by lap. 

"As at the previous rounds, the goal is to score as many points as possible. We will try to fight for the podium and, if we can’t get that, aim for the best result that is within our reach at that moment."

Like his team-mate Gardner, Fernandez has been ultra consistent so far in 2021 with a win, a third and two fifth places to his name. 

Although Fernandez struggled during the final laps in Andalusia with rear grip and lost touch with the front group, the early laps were once again an indication of the level the Spaniard is at after just four races in Moto2. 

Speaking ahead of this weekend, Fernandez said: “I have been working to improve the condition of my right arm in recent days, as it caused me some problems in the final part of the race at Jerez. 

"Now we have to focus on Le Mans. I really like the track and I’m looking forward to going there, as it suits my riding style very well. However, the weather conditions in France are always a source of uncertainty, since they tend to change constantly. 

"I am excited about this Grand Prix, as it also brings back good memories for me. 

"The objective at this round will be to get back in the top positions and, above all, to be fit. If we give one hundred percent, the rest will come. We have to keep calm."

 

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