Marquez and Pedrosa facing tricky Le Mans outing


MotoGP championship leader Marc Marquez admits his Repsol Honda will not be suited to the track at this weekend's Grand Prix de France.

Four podiums in as many races this season has helped Marquez accrue 82 points so far, giving him a 17-point cushion to reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo.

Marquez holds two career wins at Le Mans, winning the Moto2 race in 2011 before premier-class victory in 2014.

However, the Honda bikes have struggled for grip this season, with the Bugatti Circuit's slippery nature doing them few favours.

Marquez said: "During the last test in Jerez, we worked a lot on electronics and the chassis setting to find more grip, and on the balance of the bike to reduce wheelying. 

"It's always a compromise but I think we've gathered useful info for Le Mans and, knowing how far we've come since this winter and how quickly we've been able to react to many situations, I feel confident and look forward to starting the next racing weekend."

Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa has just one podium to his name in 2016 and vented frustration at being limited by his machine.

"In the last race I couldn't go full-throttle on the straights because the rear tyre was spinning too much," he added. "And I think that also in Le Mans a lot will depend on how the tyre will get grip from the track. 

"Normally this isn't a super grippy track, so we'll have to continue working on that side in order to make it better."

Technological issues are likely to be at the forefront again as the sport continues to wrestle with the recent advent of winglets.

Lap times have come crashing down this season as bikes have become more aerodynamic, although concerns over rider safety have been raised as a result - Marquez was slipped by a winglet on Andrea Iannone's bike in Argentina recently.

Ducati were MotoGP's pioneers in respect to winglets and manager Gigi Dall'Igna believes any uproar over their continued inclusion is simply an attack on his own team's creativity.

Dall'Igna told Crash: "There is a lot of talk about winglet safety but to be honest I don't think anything has happened that can bring us to say that the winglets are dangerous.

"We cannot accept that an incident without any serious consequences is taken as a pretext to try and bring a halt to development in a field which Ducati began before anyone else, in full compliance with existing regulations, and which as a result has given us an advantage over some of our competitors."