MotoGP Le Mans: Marc Marquez wins as Dovizioso and Zarco crash

Marc Marquez extended his MotoGP points lead with victory in the French Grand Prix at Le Mans, helped by crashes for Andrea Dovizioso and Johann Zarco

MotoGP Le Mans: Marc Marquez wins as Dovizioso and Zarco crash

Honda rider Marquez now has a healthy advantage of 36 points at the head of the table following a victory that looked in little doubt after his two main rivals dropped out of the running.

Marquez slumped to sixth at the start of a tough opening lap, as Jorge Lorenzo vaulted from sixth on the grid into an early lead over poleman Zarco and Dovizioso.

By the end of the second lap, Marquez was up to fourth, joining a four-rider lead group.

Dovizioso picked off home favourite Zarco for second place at the downhill La Chapelle right-hander on the third lap, and he passed Lorenzo to take the lead at the start of lap five.

But as the lead group plunged into La Chapelle once more, Dovizioso lost the front end of his factory Ducati and slid into the gravel, his second retirement in as many races.

Three laps later, while defending second from Marquez, Zarco suffered a similar fate to Dovizioso as he fell at the Garage Vert double right-hander, ending his hopes of a maiden MotoGP win.

That left Lorenzo with a narrow lead over Marquez, but it was clear Marquez had superior pace to the sole remaining works Ducati, and the inevitable pass came at La Chapelle on lap 10.

Danilo Petrucci, promoted to third by the incidents for Dovizioso and Zarco, managed to follow Marquez past Lorenzo on the next lap at the Musee left-hander, but couldn't mount a challenge for the lead.

Marquez was able to reel off the remaining laps and claim victory by a final margin of 2.310 seconds.

After being passed by Petrucci's Pramac Ducati, Lorenzo couldn't stave off Yamaha's Valentino Rossi, who moved ahead at La Chapelle to claim his first podium finish since the Qatar opener in third place.

Lorenzo then surrendered further places to the second Pramac Ducati of Jack Miller and Dani Pedrosa on the second works Honda, ending up sixth, 10 seconds down on Marquez.

Maverick Vinales ran as low as 13th in the early laps but managed to recover to seventh, a further 13 seconds back, while Cal Crutchlow passed Aleix Espargaro on the last lap to grab eighth after his huge qualifying crash left him in doubt for the race.

Completing the top 10 was the remaining Suzuki of Alex Rins, whose team-mate Andrea Iannone crashed out on the opening lap at La Chapelle.

Pol Espargaro led the KTM charge in 11th, while top rookie Hafizh Syahrin, Franco Morbidelli, Bradley Smith and Takaaki Nakagami rounded off the scorers.

The other riders to crash were Scott Redding, Tito Rabat and Alvaro Bautista.

Race result

Pos Rider Team Bike Laps Gap
1 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 27 41m49.773s
2 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati Ducati 27 2.310s
3 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 27 5.350s
4 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati Ducati 27 6.314s
5 Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda 27 7.419s
6 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati Ducati 27 10.355s
7 Maverick Vinales Yamaha Yamaha 27 23.758s
8 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 27 25.795s
9 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Aprilia 27 26.206s
10 Alex Rins Suzuki Suzuki 27 27.937s
11 Pol Espargaro KTM KTM 27 32.304s
12 Hafizh Syahrin Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 27 34.962s
13 Franco Morbidelli MVDS Honda Honda 27 37.881s
14 Bradley Smith KTM KTM 27 38.299s
15 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda Honda 27 41.986s
16 Thomas Luthi MVDS Honda Honda 27 45.260s
17 Karel Abraham Aspar Ducati Ducati 27 56.872s
18 Xavier Simeon Avintia Ducati Ducati 27 1m12.117s
- Scott Redding Aprilia Aprilia 10 Crash
- Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati Ducati 10 Crash
- Johann Zarco Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 8 Crash
- Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 4 Crash
- Alvaro Bautista Aspar Ducati Ducati 1 Crash
- Andrea Iannone Suzuki Suzuki 0 Crash

Riders' standings

Pos Rider Points
1 Marc Marquez 95
2 Maverick Vinales 59
3 Johann Zarco 58
4 Valentino Rossi 56
5 Danilo Petrucci 54
6 Jack Miller 49
7 Andrea Iannone 47
8 Cal Crutchlow 46
9 Andrea Dovizioso 46
10 Dani Pedrosa 29
11 Tito Rabat 24
12 Alex Rins 22
13 Pol Espargaro 18
14 Jorge Lorenzo 16
15 Franco Morbidelli 16
16 Aleix Espargaro 13
17 Hafizh Syahrin 13
18 Alvaro Bautista 12
19 Takaaki Nakagami 10
20 Mika Kallio 6
21 Scott Redding 5
22 Bradley Smith 5
23 Karel Abraham 1
24 Thomas Luthi 0
25 Xavier Simeon 0


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