May 18

MotoGP: Rossi Celebrates 150th Career Premier Class Podium

Valentino Rossi sprays champagne on the podium after finishing second in the Grand Prix of France. (Photo: Getty Images)

Valentino Rossi sprays champagne on the podium after finishing second in the Grand Prix of France. (Photo: Getty Images)

In his 299th Grand Prix appearance Valentino Rossi led the Le Mans race for several laps and secured his 150th premier-class podium in second place.

Rossi pushed hard from the start of the fifth race of the year, getting into the lead in the early stages from fifth on the grid, capitalizing on a mistake from eventual race winner Marc Marquez.

May 17

MotoGP: Grid Facts Ahead Of Le Mans Contest

Pol Espargaro enjoyed his best-career premier-class qualifying performance on Saturday at Le Mans. (Photo: Getty Images)

Pol Espargaro enjoyed his best-career premier-class qualifying performance on Saturday at Le Mans. (Photo: Getty Images)

A selection of key statistics relating to the MotoGP grid at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France.

- Marc Marquez is the first rider to start from pole at six or more successive MotoGP races since Casey Stoner in 2008 riding a Ducati. If Marquez wins the race it will be the first time that a rider has won five or more successive premier-class races from pole since Mick Doohan in 1997, on a Honda.

- Pol Espargaro starts from second place on the grid in just his fifth race in the MotoGP class, the best qualifying result by a satellite Yamaha rider since Cal Crutchlow was on pole at Brno last year.

May 17

MotoGP: New Pole Record For Marquez At Le Mans

Marc Marquez maintained his perfect pole record qualifying first for the MotoGP race at Le Mans. (Photo: Dorna Communications)

Marc Marquez maintained his perfect pole record by qualifying first for the MotoGP race at Le Mans. (Photo: Dorna Communications)

Having secured MotoGP pole again at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France Marc Marquez will head the grid for Sunday’s fifth race of 2014, with the front row also featuring Pol Espargaro and Andrea Dovizioso.

After the first flying laps Marquez was immediately top with a 1:32.567, to set a new fastest ever lap of Le Mans, the World Champion then improving to a remarkable 1:32.042 time to maintain his 100 percent qualifying record in 2014.

May 16

MotoGP: Impressive Iannone finishes Friday practice in second

Ducati rider Iannone currently sits ninth place in the 2014 MotoGP World Championship standings. (Photo courtesy MotoGP.com)

Ducati rider Andrea Iannone currently sits ninth place in the 2014 MotoGP World Championship standings. (Photo courtesy MotoGP.com)

Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone showed some good pace on Friday at Le Mans to finish second overall after two practice sessions.

The Italian rider has had a strong start to his second MotoGP™ campaign with three top ten finishes, before crashing out in Jerez. This weekend he is looking to bounce back from the disappointment of that DNF in the south of Spain and he showed his determination on Friday as he trailed pace setter Marc Marquez by just 0.007s in FP2.

May 16

MotoGP: Marquez Sets Pace On Friday At Le Mans

Marc Marquez leads the way during second practice at Le Mans. (Photo: Dorna Communications)

Marc Marquez leads the way during second practice at Le Mans. (Photo: Dorna Communications)

As the MotoGP action on the first day of the 2014 Monster Energy Grand Prix concluded at Le Mans, Marc Marquez outpaced his fellow premier class riders, leading the way from Andrea Iannone and Alvaro Bautista in FP2.

Having also topped the timesheet in the morning session, Marquez quickened the pace in the afternoon sunshine, registering a 1:33.452 best time, which is under the fastest lap in a race at Le Mans set by Dani Pedrosa in 2011.