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Weekend preview (June 15-17): Le Mans, MotoGP

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Weekend preview (June 15-17): Le Mans, MotoGP
By:
Jun 14, 2018, 5:58 AM

Le Mans 24 Hours and MotoGP Catalan GP - the weekend of June 14-16 offers motorsport fans two very strong reasons to stay glued to their TV sets…

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Le Mans 24 Hours

Le Mans 24 Hours
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Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Part of motorsport’s unofficial Triple Crown alongside the Monaco GP and Indy 500, the Le Mans 24 Hours brings together some of the world’s best drivers for an annual around-the-clock sportscar race in France.

This year’s field is bolstered by several present and past Formula 1 drivers, including Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button and Juan Pablo Montoya.

Alonso, who is duelling his F1 commitments with a full season WEC drive, is part of the Toyota outfit that is expected to dominate the 86th running of the event.

Following the withdrawal of Audi and Porsche in successive years, Toyota is left as the only manufacturer in the top-tier LMP1 class, giving it a significant advantage over its non-hybrid privateer rivals. However, given the Japanese manufacturer’s past results, a victory is far from given.

Competition is also expected to be fierce in LMP2 and GTE classes, with the latter category featuring factory cars from Ford, Porsche, Ferrari, Corvette, Aston Martin and new-for-2018 BMW.

Le Mans 24 Hours can be seen LIVE on our online streaming platform Motorsport.tv from 6:30 pm IST on Saturday.

MotoGP Catalan GP

MotoGP Catalan GP
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Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

MotoGP returns to action this weekend following some bombshell driver market announcements in the last couple of weeks.

At Mugello, Jorge Lorenzo claimed his first victory since joining the factory Ducati squad at the beginning of last year, but internal issues with the Italian squad means he would be heading to Honda next year as a replacement for Dani Pedrosa.

It would be interesting to see how he performs in the remaining races of the season, particularly against teammate Andrea Dovizioso, who scored his first podium at Mugello since the season opener in Qatar.

The Italian has a big job in his hands to close the gap to Marc Marquez, who sits 29 points clear of him despite scoring a duck last time out.

There are also question marks over Yamaha’s performance, but Valentino Rossi’s pole would give some encouragement to the Japanese maker.

Although the 2018 Yamaha is arguably slower than the Ducati, the former’s riders Rossi and Maverick Vinales sit second and third in the drivers standing - marginally ahead of top Ducati man Dovizioso.

Catalan GP will be broadcast LIVE on Sony Ten 1 from 5:30 pm on Sunday

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Motorsport.com predicts the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours

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Series Le Mans
Author Rachit Thukral