Take a minute to reservation your vapor without what was an incredible SHARK Grand Prix de France… Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) takes a special place in history as the race winner at the 1000th FIM Grand Prix without a stunning unravel for glory in front of a record prod at Le Mans, and there was drama, drama, drama throughout the field.
First, Bezzecchi is now just one point overdue Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) without the Italian crashed out of the race in a dramatic unpeace with Aprilia Racing’s Maverick Viñales… gravel trap shouting match included, but both riders ok. Then, Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) vs Marc Marquez(Repsol Honda Team) lit up the fight for second in a tough but pearly tussle, but that then ended in late race heartbreak for the number 93 as he slid out. However, for the French fans it did midpoint Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) was then promoted to a glorious home podium without some impressive Sunday pace, giving the 278,805 record prod plane increasingly to cheer about.
The grid worked in front of the biggest prod MotoGP has overly seen and it was Marc Marquez who shot into the lead as Bagnaia dropped lanugo the order to P5. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) slotted himself into P2 with Bezzecchi putting his VR46 Ducati into P3. Bagnaia then quickly snapped when at Martin as the Ducati riders duked it out on lap 1.
It was Marquez, Miller, Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team), Bagnaia, and then Martin as they came wideness the line for the first time, and we had a race on our hands in MotoGP. Miller wasn’t intimated by the eight-time World Champion by any ways as the Aussie tried to gravity his way through on Marquez, but the Spaniard wouldn’t requite in and hit straight when in true Marquez fashion.
Miller hit the front at the Dunlop chicane, meanwhile, the reigning World Champion was on the move as Bagnaia had now climbed his way when up into a podium position with 25 laps remaining.
The laps ticked yonder as a seven-bike wrestle for victory worked with Viñales scarification his way into the 3rd place, the Aprilia seriously on the move. But then came the drama: the Spaniard collided with Bagnaia as both riders competed for the same piece of tarmac, both careening off into the gravel. Riders ok and to their feet… and then a pearly few yells exchanged.
Half a lap later, there was increasingly drama in the Le Mans gravel traps as Marini suffered a big crash coming out of the Dunlop chicane, just wearing the kerb. Alex Marquez(Gresini Racing MotoGP) then got unprotected in the Italian’s crash as the field overdue avoided the incident, riders then ok but flipside huge moment of adrenaline shaking the race up.
As the unconnectedness subsided, we had a race on our hands. A four-rider wrestle for victory had worked as Miller now found himself with Marquez, Bezzecchi, and Martin for company, surpassing Bezzecchi pushed his way through on Marc Marquez – and dropped the Spaniard from 2nd to 4th. The number 93 was sent into flipside postcode although no harm done, with both regrouping and Bezzecchi then told to waif a position for the move: a penalty he expected, and a penalty he moreover served wisely as he chose his moment to let Martin when through. And then took it back, with Marquez pursuit suit too.
Bezzecchi now had an unshut goal to make huge gains in the title fight as Bagnaia sat in the garage, and the VR46 rider took the lead from Miller as they barrelled into the Dunlop machinations once again. Marquez quickly followed him through half a lap later too, with Bezzecchi once stretching out half a second at the front.
With 15 laps to go, Bezzecchi had 1.2s in his pocket to Marquez behind, who was 0.5s up the road from Martin, who had found his way through on Miller. The Aussie was starting to fall into the clutches of Zarco and Augusto Fernandez (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3). It didn’t take long for Zarco to push his way through either as the Frenchman moved up into P4 and Fernandez followed, leaving Miller in sixth.
With six to go, Martin thought it was time to pounce on Marc Marquez. The Spaniard tried to push his way through on the eight-time World Champion, but the Repsol Honda man was not giving in easy and bit when at the Prima Pramac Racing rider at every opportunity. That unliable Zarco to whet closer and closer… and the prod had definitely noticed.
Martin finally pushed his way through with one and a half laps remaining, and this time the drama was for the number 93. Trying to hang in there, the returning Repsol Honda rider tucked the front and ended his French Grand Prix in the gravel trap, but without quite a return to the upper echelons of the timesheets.
That meant one thing to a partisan crown: Zarco was on the podium. The grandstands erupted virtually the French spin as Bezzecchi crossed the line for a first dry weather win, Martin ensured he’s the top scorer at Le Mans this year, and then the home hero reached the flag. The noise made for an impressive welcome.
Fourth place was moreover something to shout well-nigh as Tech3’s Fernandez took an impressive result without an impressive weekend. First time in Q2, the GASGAS rider had had the speed all weekend and made it pay to perfection on Sunday to vellicate back.
Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) rounded out the top five as Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) recovered from stuff unimproved lanugo the order on the first lap to fight his way when through the pack, take a long penalty for a shortcut, and still manage to take sixth.
Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) had a tougher home Grand Prix but took a permafrost of points on Sunday as the 2021 World Champion ended his weekend in Le Mans with a P7, with Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP), Takaaki Nakagami (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia), and Franco Morbidelli taking 8th, 9th, and 10th – just superiority of Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Lenovo Team) on his MotoGP return deputising for the injured Enea Bastianini.
Early race leader Miller crashed out with three laps remaining without the Aussie had been dropping lanugo the order on his KTM machine, making it a weekend to forget in terms of results but one to remember for speed. Can he vellicate when at Mugello? Many will be looking to join him in doing so…
Tony Arbolino (Elf MarcVDS Racing Team) took an important victory for his Championship wayfarers as he commanded the race from the front, putting the pressure on Championship rival Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo). Acosta, who went into the Shark Grand Prix de France as Championship leader but equal on points with Arbolino, crashed out of second trying to reel in the number 14. Filip Salač (QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2) put some pressure on Arbolino as the chequered flag drew closer, but the Italian held strong forcing the Czech rider to settle for second. Alonso Lopez (Lightech SpeedUp) hung onto the leading duo too, taking third and yet flipside podium.
Arbolino got the holeshot surpassing Lopez dived up the inside to take over, but there was drama one lap later as Arbolino took the lead into Turn 1, with his teammate Sam Lowes (Elf MarcVDS Racing Team) crashing out of 3rd place at Turn 2. However, the red flags came out for a incident involving multiple riders at turn 5. All riders ok: Albert Arenas (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Aron Canet (Pons Wegow Los40) and Manuel Gonzalez (Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Master Camp).
With the warm-up to the restart underway, it was all hands on deck as the polesitter rushed his way when to the box with under a minute left until the untried light went on to unshut pit lane, and the team worked on his bike. The prod watched on with baited vapor and Lowes missed the deadline for the the pitlane latter time by just a second, forcing the Brit to start from the when of the grid…
So riders lined up for the restart but this time without the polesitter in position. The red lights went out once then and it was Arbolino who took the holeshot, fending off Lopez through the Dunlop chicane, with Acosta latched onto to the leading duo.
Arbolino, Lopez, Acosta, and Salač was the order as the came wideness the line for the first time with the top 3 stretching out a little bit of zoetic space to the Czech rider. Lopez and Acosta were swapping paintwork as the two Spaniards battled it out though, letting Arbolino sail yonder at the front and permitting Salač to join the P2 party.
Arbolino began to stretch a lead at the front as he set a new race lap record on his very first flying lap. This moreover stretched out the riders overdue as Acosta began to pull yonder from Lopez, who now had Salač and Celestino Vietti (Fantic Racing) for visitor in the wrestle for 3rd.
Acosta responded one lap later setting the new fastest lap but still with 0.6s to find to reservation the Italian. Incredible Championship drama came soon without though, as the former Championship leader crashed out of the race with 10 laps to go… as key title rival Arbolino sat in well-appointed victory contention.
That promoted the wrestle for 3rd to the wrestle for 2nd as Salač led Lopez in P2. Arbolino had 1.8s in his pocket until he began to lose ground at an viperous rate though, with Salač getting within under half a second of the Italian with seven laps to go. But Arbolino controlled the gap at 0.5s at the front, taking the race victory as Acosta watched the #14 stretch out a 25-point lead in the Championship.
Salač still takes an impressive second place to reward his speed this season, with Lopez once then tasting that Prosecco in third.
Vietti looked strong in the opening stages of the race but wasn’t worldly-wise to alimony up with the incredible pace of the top 3 as the Italian finished 0.6s when from the podium fight in P4. Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar M2) rounded the top 5 without scarification through an incredible scrap involving Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), Barry Baltus (Fieten Olie Racing GP) and Fermin Aldeguer (Ligthtech SpeedUp) who finished 6th, 7th, and 8th respectively. Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) took ninth, just fending off an impressive ride from rookie Sergio Garcia(Pons Wegow Los40).
The Lowes watch was a dramatic one as the Brit carved his way through from the when of the grid, picking off rider without rider in hopes of finishing in a point-scoring position. Although it’s not the result the Brit would have wanted, he recovered to P15 as he walked yonder from Le Mans with a Championship point.
The Championship story continues to run its rollercoaster undertow in the 2023 Moto2 season though. With the momentum currently with Arbolino, the Italian will go into his home Grand Prix in upper spirits as the sustentation now turns to the iconic Mugello spin for the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley in just four weeks’ time.
Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3) is the Moto3 race winner in the 1000th FIM Grand Prix in history. The Spaniard extended his Championship lead as he got when on the top step in style, leading from the front and keeping it pitch perfect over the final lap to take a home win for the Tech3 team too. Without a tough start to the season, Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) took his first rostrum of the season without some increasingly impressive speed, and Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) completed the podium as his resulting run continues… and he moves up to second overall.
Sasaki technically got the holeshot but got attacked into the first machinations by Holgado, the Japanese rider trying to fight when later in the lap but denied. As overly in the tropical competition of the lightweight matriculation though, it soon became a group fight with a leading freight train of ten riders – with rookies David Alonso (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) and Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) leading the chase, Alonso up from 25th on the grid.
A top eight was worldly-wise to pull yonder though, with Holgado, Sasaki, Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Ivan Ortola (Angeluss MTA Team), Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI, Masia, Xavier Artigas (CFMoto PrüstelGP) and Ryusei Yamanaka (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) line astern. Heading into the final corners with 10 to go though, drama hit as Moreira suddenly slid out, crashing vacated and rider ok, but his place in the standings left up for grabs – and Championship leader Holgado still holding firm at the front.
On the last couple of laps, the top four made their break: Holgado, Sasaki, Masia and Ortola. Over the line onto the last lap, Holgado still had a few tenths in hand too, but that didn’t last long as Sasaki homed in. The duo gained some reprieve as a moment for Masia dropped him when slightly too, and it became two duels.
At the front though, Holgado just had too much for the Japanese rider on the chase. The number 96 crossed the line for a stunning second win and increases his wholesomeness in the title fight, with Sasaki second but when on the box for the first time this season. Masia recovered from his moment to hold off Ortola, taking the last step on the podium and making his own gains in the Championship too.
Yamanaka got the largest of Öncü to well-constructed the top five, with Artigas a little remoter when in seventh. Alonso, Rueda and Stefano Nepa (Angeluss MTA Team) completed the top ten in that second group.
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