Hello and welcome to Speed. Yamaha’s triple MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo proved unstoppable in France. The Spaniard, who celebrated his 29th birthday earlier in the week, held his nerve to take the chequered flag ahead of Italian great Valentino Rossi.
Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales — tipped to replace Lorenzo next season — produced a stunning performance to take his first top-flight podium finish. This was his team’s best result since 2008.
Marc Marquez slid off with Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso on lap 16 while they were running third and fourth. The Spaniard recovered and eventually scored three points as the last classified rider.
Lorenzo now has 90 points from five races with Marquez on 85. Rossi, who started on the third row after winning the previous race in Spain, is third with 78 points.
Bruno Sousa, euronews: “On the 8th of May 1982, the world of motorsport lost one of its biggest talents. Gilles Villeneuve was killed after crashing his Ferrari during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix. Speed pays tribute to the Formula 1 legend, thirty-four years exactly, since this tragic accident.”
Gilles Villeneuve’s all-or-nothing approach was well known. Discovered and introduced to Formula One by James Hunt, the Canadian was one of the most spectacular drivers of his day and perhaps of all time.
Villeneuve was not only supremely talented, he was also a showman who loved entertaining the crowd from the cockpit of his Ferrari.
A horrific accident in qualifying for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix ultimately claimed his life. The Canadian came across Jochen Mass’ car going slowly and a misunderstanding led to a collision. The Ferrari cartwheeled and Villeneuve died later that night from a broken neck.
The world of motorsport was left mourning as tributes came thick and fast for a man who drove a Grand Prix car to limits beyond the capabilities of all his rivals.
Bruno Sousa, euronews: “This tragedy triggered a drive to improve safety standards. Changes and improvements were made, arguably saving the lives of many drivers. Brazil’s Sidnei Frigo might just be the perfect example. The Pro Mod driver crashed at a speed of 350 km/h during qualifying for the Spring Nationals in Texas. Despite the horrific accident you’re about to see, Frigo is alive and well and only suffered a broken arm. We’ll be back next week, see you soon.”