Albert Arenas took his maiden Grand Prix victory in surprising and controversial circumstances after a chaotic French Grand Prix at Le Mans. The win had originally gone to Fabio Di Giannantonio after a last corner collision between Marco Bezzecchi and Jorge Martin but a three-second penalty for an earlier shortcut saw him relegated to fourth, handing victory to Arenas.
A ten-rider group had broken away at the front but the mayhem truly began with just over a lap remaining as Enea Bastianini crashed out of fourth at the last corner. The Leopard Honda was struck by Jakub Kornfeil but miraculously, the Czech rider vaulted over the errant machine and landed on both wheels, continuing into the last lap. Kornfeil was already racing with a sanction hanging over his own head having landed a 1.8s penalty for shortcutting the Chemin Aux Boeufs corner in the early laps.
The turn 10/11 chicane had also been cut by Di Giannantonio later in proceedings and this would prove critical in the final reckoning. The Italian had apparently ridden a perfect tactical race to overtake Bezzecchi and Martin to snatch the lead in the final sector of the last lap, a move that led to the championship leader highsiding and taking down Martin. However, Fabio’s three-second penalty was announced moments after the finish, cutting his celebrations short.
As a result, despite running fourth with two corners remaining and crossing the line in second, Arenas was awarded the victory with Andrea Migno completing an Angel Nieto Team 1-2. Niccolo Antonelli appeared to have taken third but he had also fallen foul of race direction for an illegal shortcut, promoting Marcos Ramirez to third with Di Giannantonio slotting in ahead of his compatriot in fourth once his penalty was applied.
Kornfeil’s reward for his motocross-style escape was sixth position ahead of Tony Arbolino while Aron Canet recovered from the back of the grid to finish eighth, just ahead of Tatsuki Suzuki and Jaume Masia.
Moto3 HJC Helmets Grand Prix de France: (Result)
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