Le Mans : Quartararo eyes up first home win at French GP. After a slow start to the season, the Yamaha rider has found his way back at top of the standings and is in line to notch up his first ever home win at this weekend's French Grand Prix.

The 23-year-old Yamaha rider managed only a single podium in the year's first four races as his Yamaha suffered from lack of speed.

But on the European circuits the powerful deficit is less significant and that enabled him to win in Portugal at the end of April and take second place in Spain a week later.

He tops the standings with 89 points, seven clear of Asprilla's Aleix Espargaro with Enea Bastianini a further 13 points back.

Quartararo heads to the Bugatti circuit in Le Mans seeking a 10th victory in his nascent career in MotoGP and a first on French soil. He admits to targeting a strong pre-race performance to help in his victory quest.

'' It's difficult to know who's going to be on top, fighting for the podium this week-end,'' he said.

'' It's a different track to Jerez and the most important thing is to work as usual. We need to work well on Friday, try to already be secure for Q2, and find the great tyres for the race and our pace.

''Trying to have a good qualifying performance is super important for us.''

Quartararo added that it was '' super special to be in a home GP''.

''I will give my best of course, but you know especially a home GP can make you more stressed and more pressure but I will take this one like a normal one.''

The Frenchman will have to work out how to keep a resurgent Francesco Bagnaia quiet. After picking up just two fifth places finishes, the Italian blitzed the rest of the field on his Ducati with a stunning win in Spain.

Another Ducati rider, the Australian Jack Miller will also fancy his chances having won here in 2021.

There are also indications from the Honda camp that Marc Marquez is finally beginning to show the form that made him a six-time world champion.

He missed the GPs of Indonesia and Argentina due to a heavy crash that caused him vision problems but bounced back to take sixth place in Austin [Texas] and in Portugal, followed by fourth in Spain.

The jury is out on how Alex Rins and 2020 world champion Juan Mir will respond to the news that their team Suzuki wants to pull out of MotoGP and is holding talks with the championship promoters Dorna about breaking their contract. [AFP]


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