Le Mans MotoGP: Marc Marquez wins for Honda's 300th victory

Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez eased to his third victory of the campaign at Le Mans, extending his lead in the championship

Le Mans MotoGP: Marc Marquez wins for Honda's 300th victory

Marquez, who had lined up on pole, fought off the Ducatis of Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller early on before assuming full control of the race and cruising to his second successive Le Mans win and Honda's 300th across MotoGP and its 500cc predecessor.

Petrucci had challenged Marquez at the start, the pair going side by side into Turn 1 before Marquez reclaimed the lead down the inside into the chicane.

The Ducati rider tried again a lap later, but once more couldn't make a move stick, and his initial challenge then faded as he was shuffled down to fifth a lap later.

Marquez could not establish an immediate gap as Pramac privateer Miller quickly negated his breakaway, before lunging past the reigning champion on the fifth lap.

But Marquez was back ahead two laps later, diving down the inside of Miller at the Dunlop chicane and successfully anticipating a La Chapelle counter-attack from the Australian - who ran out wide and finally surrendered first place to the Honda man.

From there on Marquez began to assert his authority, pulling out a second between himself and Miller as the 27-lap race approached its halfway point.

Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, who had slipped down to seventh at the start but fought back up the order, was shadowing Miller by that point, and moved past when Miller went wide at the La Musee left-hander.

Yet Dovizioso, three seconds behind Marquez after he'd made the move on Miller, had no answer to the race leader's pace either, and was instead faced with a late challenge for second from Petrucci.

With five laps left to run, Petrucci attempted a move down the inside of Dovizioso entering the Dunlop chicane, only to run out wide and hand the spot back to his factory squadmate.

He was eyeing up a move at La Musee on the subsequent lap, and dived down the inside at the left-hander the next time by, but Dovizioso held his line and maintained position.

The works team-mates remained close on track until the chequered flag, Petrucci eventually finishing 0.158s behind Dovizioso to secure his first podium as a factory Ducati rider.

Miller held on to fourth place, seeing off the Yamaha of Valentino Rossi in a late scrap for position.

Rossi's team-mate and practice pacesetter Maverick Vinales had dropped to as low as 14th early on, and made little progress before being taken out by rookie Pecco Bagnaia on the seventh lap.

Bagnaia lost control of his Pramac-run Ducati at the sweeping Turn 12 right-hander and collected Vinales, who was launched off his Yamaha and into the gravel.

KTM's Pol Espargaro muscled his way into the top five at the start, and eventually secured sixth place, recording the Austrian manufacturer's second-best MotoGP result so far.

Franco Morbidelli couldn't find a way past Espargaro and settled for seventh, while his Petronas Yamaha team-mate Fabio Quartararo recovered from a poor start and a third-lap error to finish close behind in eighth.

LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow was ninth, with Suzuki's Alex Rins managing no better than 10th and Marquez's team-mate Jorge Lorenzo finishing right behind Rins despite having run the whole race within the top 10.

The other Suzuki of Joan Mir crashed on the warm-up lap at the Dunlop chicane, with Karel Abraham simultaneously dropping his Avintia Ducati at the same corner.

Both continued, but while Abraham was eventually black-flagged, Mir was last of the finishers in 16th.

Tito Rabat (Avintia Ducati) and Andrea Iannone (Aprilia) were both retirements, as was LCR Honda's Takaaki Nakagami, who had crashed out of 12th place.

Race result

Pos Rider Team Bike Laps Gap
1 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 27 41m53.647s
2 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 27 1.984s
3 Danilo Petrucci Ducati Ducati 27 2.142s
4 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati Ducati 27 2.940s
5 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 27 3.053s
6 Pol Espargaro KTM KTM 27 5.935s
7 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha Yamaha 27 7.187s
8 Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha Yamaha 27 8.439s
9 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 27 9.853s
10 Alex Rins Suzuki Suzuki 27 13.709s
11 Jorge Lorenzo Honda Honda 27 15.003s
12 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Aprilia 27 29.512s
13 Johann Zarco KTM KTM 27 33.061s
14 Hafizh Syahrin Tech3 KTM KTM 27 35.481s
15 Miguel Oliveira Tech3 KTM KTM 27 36.044s
16 Joan Mir Suzuki Suzuki 26 1 Lap
- Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda Honda 18 Retirement
- Andrea Iannone Aprilia Aprilia 8 Retirement
- Maverick Vinales Yamaha Yamaha 6 Retirement
- Francesco Bagnaia Pramac Ducati Ducati 6 Retirement
- Karel Abraham Avintia Ducati Ducati 5 Disqualified
- Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati Ducati 2 Retirement

Riders' standings

Pos Rider Points
1 Marc Marquez 95
2 Andrea Dovizioso 87
3 Alex Rins 75
4 Valentino Rossi 72
5 Danilo Petrucci 57
6 Jack Miller 42
7 Cal Crutchlow 34
8 Franco Morbidelli 34
9 Pol Espargaro 31
10 Maverick Vinales 30
11 Takaaki Nakagami 29
12 Fabio Quartararo 25
13 Aleix Espargaro 22
14 Jorge Lorenzo 16
15 Johann Zarco 10
16 Francesco Bagnaia 9
17 Joan Mir 8
18 Miguel Oliveira 8
19 Stefan Bradl 6
20 Andrea Iannone 6
21 Hafizh Syahrin 2
22 Tito Rabat 2
23 Karel Abraham 0
24 Bradley Smith 0


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