Marc Marquez has won today’s French Moto GP event at Le Mans, giving him a fifth straight victory and a perfect score of 125/125 at the start of the motorcycle racing season.
The defending world champion, 21, bounced back from a poor start to finish 1.4 seconds ahead of Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, and has moved into a 42 point lead at the top of the Moto GP standings.
Marquez started the race from pole position, but a racing incident on the first lap with compatriot Jorge Lorenzo saw him fall down the order. However, from there he duly picked off the riders ahead to claim his 11th premier class victory.
Just as Sebastian Vettel dominated Formula 1 at the end of 2013, and just as Lewis Hamilton appears to be in 2014, Marquez is at the very peak of his powers. Last year, he became the first rider since Kenny Roberts in 1978 to win the premier class of motorcycle racing at the very first attempt, as well as being the youngest ever world champion.
Nine-time champion Valentino Rossi continued his great start to the season with another second place finish, whilst Alvaro Bautista completed the podium in third place.
American riders Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards did not enjoy a very fruitful weekend. Hayden crashed out on the first lap, whilst Edwards – who is set to retire at the end of the season – could only finish 17th.
Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.
Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.
“It’s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,” said the 18-year-old Cunha. “I am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!”
Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”