1991 Vitesse du Mans motorcycle Grand Prix

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France  1991 Vitesse du Mans Grand Prix
Race details
Race 14 of 15 races in the
1991 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season
Bugatti Circuit.svg
Date 8 September 1991
Location Le Mans
Course Permanent racing facility
4.425 km (2.750 mi)
500 cc
Pole position
Rider United States John Kocinski
Time 1:39.964
Fastest lap
Rider Australia Mick Doohan
Time 1:41.200
First United States Kevin Schwantz
Second Australia Mick Doohan
Third United States Wayne Rainey
250 cc
Pole position
Rider Italy Luca Cadalora
Time 1:44.963
Fastest lap
Rider Germany Helmut Bradl
Time 1:45.375
First Germany Helmut Bradl
Second Spain Carlos Cardús
Third Italy Luca Cadalora

The 1991 Vitesse du Mans motorcycle Grand Prix was the penultimate round of the 1991 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season. It took place on the weekend of 6–8 September 1991 at the Bugatti Circuit located in Le Mans. France.

Originally meant to be held in Brazil, that race was cancelled for safety reasons, so the FIM decided to add a second French round. It is the only time in FIM Grand Prix motorcycle racing history two rounds were held in France during a season. The race's name was used for this race only, after the European Grand Prix moniker had been used for a race in Jarama that replaced the Yugoslavian race.

500 cc race report[edit]

John Kocinski on pole. Kevin Schwantz gets the start from Kocinski, Mick Doohan, Wayne Gardner and Wayne Rainey.

Schwantz and Doohan battle for 1st, but at ten laps to go, Rainey just needs to stay in 3rd place to win the championship.

Rainey speculates that Kocinski let him take 3rd so he could win the championship, though he told team manager Kenny Roberts he didn't want Kocinski's help.

Kenny Roberts: "There were a lot of races where we shouldn't have won, and we really wouldn't have won if it wasn't for Wayne. There's a lot of races where had we had anyone else, it wouldn't have happened. Wayne was very, very determined to win it this year. Some years you can say the bikes were definitely better or our engineering was better, but this year Wayne was definitely better."[1]

500cc classification[edit]

Pos Rider Manufacturer Time/Retired Points
1 United States Kevin Schwantz Suzuki 47:37.764 20
2 Australia Mick Doohan Honda +0.148 17
3 United States Wayne Rainey Yamaha +3.468 15
4 United States John Kocinski Yamaha +3.700 13
5 Australia Wayne Gardner Honda +3.966 11
6 Spain Juan Garriga Yamaha +37.852 10
7 United States Doug Chandler Yamaha +38.342 9
8 Belgium Didier de Radiguès Suzuki +39.290 8
9 Spain Sito Pons Honda +1:30.554 7
10 France Adrien Morillas Yamaha +1:45.040 6
11 Republic of Ireland Eddie Laycock Yamaha +1 Lap 5
12 United Kingdom Niall Mackenzie Yamaha +1 Lap 4
13 Italy Marco Papa Honda +2 Laps 3
14 Luxembourg Andreas Leuthe Suzuki +2 Laps 2
15 United Kingdom Damon Buckmaster Suzuki +5 Laps 1
Ret Netherlands Cees Doorakkers Honda Retirement
Ret France Jean Philippe Ruggia Yamaha Retirement
Ret Germany Michael Rudroff Honda Retirement
Ret Germany Hans Becker Yamaha Retirement


  1. ^ Duke Video: "Bike GP Review 1991". Videocassette.

Previous race:
1991 Czechoslovakian Grand Prix
FIM Grand Prix World Championship
1991 season
Next race:
1991 Malaysian Grand Prix
Previous race:
1990 French Grand Prix
MotoGP at Le Mans Next race:
1994 French Grand Prix