Lorenzo Leads Dominant Yamaha 1-2 in France

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Jorge Lorenzo secured a second consecutive MotoGP victory with another serene ride in the French Grand Prix at Le Mans. The Spaniard made a typically rapid start to take the lead on the opening lap and was never threatened from that point on while Movistar Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi stormed through to second, consolidating his championship lead.

After a sensational qualifying lap, Marc Marquez started as the favourite to victory but the reigning champion looked uncomfortable from the get-go. After losing out to Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso on the run towards turn one, Marquez sent a desperately late move up the inside of the Dunlop chicane. He was soon relegated to fifth by the second factory riders from Yamaha and Ducati and when Bradley Smith punished a mistake at Garage Vert to snatch fifth on lap five, all hope of a Marquez victory had evaporated.

Rossi, who had earlier passed the Spaniard with a decisive move at Chemin aux Boeufs, still had his eyes on the lead but the Ducatis of Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone stood between himself and his teammate. On lap ten, ‘The Doctor’ put his plan into action with a move on an injured Iannone at the esses and although the fully fit Dovizioso proved much tougher opposition, Rossi dived past into second at the final corner of lap twelve.

With half distance not yet reached, the capacity crowd will have had memories of Rossi’s thrilling chase of Marquez in Argentina but Lorenzo wouldn’t give an inch and controlled the race beautifully. The Spaniard’s pace never dropped off and by the time the chequered flag flew, Jorge had 3.8s in hand over his older teammate. Despite fading late on, Dovizioso held on to a comfortable third.

By contrast, Iannone looked to be suffering desperately with his injured shoulder as the gap between himself and the fight for fifth between Smith and Marquez shrunk. However, once the squabbling pair arrived on the tail of the Ducati, Andrea managed to regroup with a thrilling battle ensuing between the Italian and Marquez. After an extraordinary move at Chemin aux Boeufs, Marc finally secured fourth with Iannone bravely holding onto fifth ahead of Smith on the leading satellite machine.

Cal Crutchlow’s hopes of retaining that honour took a blow with a crash at La Chapelle with Pol Espargaro profiting to take seventh while Yonny Hernandez, Maverick Vinales and Danilo Petrucci completed the top ten.



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