Mir Wins at Le Mans after Early Mayhem

Joan Mir - Photo Credit: MotoGP.com

Joan Mir struck a huge early blow in the battle for the Moto3 world championship with victory in the French Grand Prix at Le Mans. The Spaniard took advantage of a crash for Romano Fenati to claim his third win of the year but the race will be remembered for an extraordinary second lap pile-up which caused a half-hour stoppage.

The problems started at the Dunlop chicane as four riders collided on lap one, among them was Adam Norrodin. The Malaysian remounted and continued, unaware that his Honda was leaking fluids and when the field came back around on lap two, no fewer than a dozen riders barrelled straight into the gravel trap at La Chapelle due to the lack of grip. Mir and Fenati were two of the names to crash out, as was polesitter Jorge Martin.

With track safety in question and almost all of the pre-race favourites picking their bikes up out of the gravel trap, race direction had no choice but to red flag the race, and the action wouldn’t resume for another 30 minutes. Martin wouldn’t fare much better at the restart, falling at exactly the same corner, as Fenati and Mir broke away at the front.

Just as Mir was building up a head of steam in his chase of Fenati, the Italian lost the front end of his Honda at Musee, handing his championship rival a lead he would maintain until the finish. The traditional Moto3 pack racing would instead centre around the battle for second with Darryn Binder losing his chance at a rostrum by making an identical error to Fenati, only his came heartbreakingly on the final lap.

Aron Canet emerged though the chaos to claim second, following up his maiden win from Jerez, while Fabio Di Giannantonio returned to the podium in third. Marcos Ramirez matched his career best, finishing fourth for the second race running ahead of Juanfran Guevara, while sixth-placed Enea Bastianini edged out Jules Danilo who was the first French rider home.

Andrea Migno was eighth for Sky VR46 after his team-mate Nicolo Bulega was forced to ride in agony after the early pile-up. Bo Bendsneyder took ninth while Danny Kent marked his wildcard outing with a top ten finish.


Moto3 HJC Helmets Grand Prix de France – Race Result

136. Joan MirHondaLeopard Racing27:37.83025
244. Aron CanetHondaEstrella Galicia 0,0+4.25220
321. Fabio Di GiannantonioHondaDel Conca Gresini Moto3+4.36516
442. Marcos RamirezKTMPlatinum Bay Real Estate+4.46913
558. Juanfran GuevaraKTMRBA BOE Racing Team+4.84511
633. Enea BastianiniHondaEstrella Galicia 0,0+5.46310
795. Jules DaniloHondaMarinelli Rivacold Snipers+5.6529
816. Andrea MignoKTMSky Racing Team VR46+5.8218
964. Bo BendsneyderKTMRed Bull KTM Ajo+6.0497
1052. Danny KentKTMRed Bull KTM Ajo+6.1936
1184. Jakub KornfeilPeugeotPeugeot MC Saxoprint+7.5045
1217. John McPheeHondaBritish Talent Team+8.7414
1341. Nakarin AtiratphuvapatHondaHonda Team Asia+16.0063
1448. Lorenzo Dalla PortaMahindraMAHINDRA Northgate Aspar+16.4052
1512. Marco BezzecchiMahindraCIP+16.5141
1611. Livio LoiHondaLeopard Racing+16.639
178. Nicolo BulegaKTMSky Racing Team VR46+16.752
1896. Manuel PaglianiMahindraCIP+16.996
1971. Ayumu SasakiHondaSIC Racing Team+17.046
206. Maria HerreraKTMAGR Team+17.206
2165. Philipp OettlKTMSüdmetall Schedl GP Racing+28.501
2214. Tony ArbolinoHondaSIC58 Squadra Corse+33.398
234. Patrik PulkkinenPeugeotPeugeot MC Saxoprint+24.059
NC40. Darryn BinderKTMPlatinum Bay Real Estate+1 Lap
NC24. Tatsuki SuzukiHondaSIC58 Squadra Corse+2 Laps
NC27. Kaito TobaHondaHonda Team Asia+2 Laps
NC23. Niccolo AntonelliKTMRed Bull KTM Ajo+5 Laps
NC88. Jorge MartinHondaDel Conca Gresini Moto3+6 Laps
NC5. Romano FenatiHondaMarinelli Rivacold Snipers+9 Laps
NC75. Albert ArenasMahindraMAHINDRA Northgate Aspar+13 Laps
NC7. Adam NorrodinHondaSIC Racing Team+16 Laps
NS19. Gabriel RodrigoKTMRBA BOE Racing Team