Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez took his third win of the 2019 season with another dominating performance at Le Mans.
Cold conditions from morning Warm Up carried through until the start of the French Grand Prix at 14:00 local time, with a track temperature of just 18°C making for treacherous opening laps.
Marquez was able to keep clear of trouble at the front, opening a small advantage over Pramac Racing’s Jack Miller, and while Miller was briefly able to get past, the Repsol Honda Team rider responded to the challenge on lap six and retook the lead.
Steadily building his lead lap-by-lap, Marquez crossed the line 1.9 seconds clear of Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, claiming Honda’s 300th win in the premier class in the process.
The Spaniard said: “Of course here in Le Mans it’s always difficult with the temperature and the weather, especially today. I think this is the first time I have had a race where I had the soft tyre in the front but it was the safest option. I was focused on being consistent until I saw the gap increasing, I pushed a little bit more and into the low 32s until I saw I had two seconds. I’m happy with today’s result and it is fantastic to be able to take Honda’s 300th premier class win!”
The win is also Marquez’s 47th in the premier class, drawing equal with Jorge Lorenzo in third on the all time premier class wins list. Marquez now extends his lead in the MotoGP World Championship to eight points, Honda maintaining a healthy advantage in the Constructor Championship.
The win is Honda’s 300thvictory in the premier class, the first manufacturer to achieve such success in the premier class. Jim Redman and the Honda RC181 achieved Honda’s first win in the premier class back in 1966 at Hockenheim with Mike Hailwood becoming the second winner a few races later in Brno.
Freddie Spencer returned Honda to the top step of the podium in the 500cc class in 1982 at Spa-Franchoramps on the NS500. Takazumi Katayama would become the first Japanese rider to win in the 500cc class for Honda the same year.
1984 marked the debut of the NSR500 – the legendary 500cc machine taking a total of 132 wins and saw the likes of Mick Doohan, Wayne Gardner, Alex Criville and Eddie Lawson claim the premier class title and seven Constructors World Championships.
The debut of the four-stroke era saw Honda achieve immediate success with the RC211V, winning the first race at the 2002 Japanese GP. The RC211V, RC212V and RC213V have seen Honda take 144 wins in the four-stroke era, including Marquez’s win at the French GP.
Honda’s 300 Premier Class Wins