Marquez makes history for Honda ahead of a Ducati duel for the podium 1Reigning Champion takes the Japanese marque’s 300th premier class win, with Dovizioso vs Petrucci deciding the podium.

It was a history maker of a day for reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) in France. The Spaniard converted pole into a dominant win clear at the front, and in doing so he took Honda’s 300th premier class victory – as well as equalling the premier class win count of teammate Jorge Lorenzo. Behind him it was a Ducati duel for the podium, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) just able to hold off teammate Danilo Petrucci over the line. ‘DesmoDovi’ equals the podium tally of MotoGP™ Legend Mick Doohan across all classes, Petrucci took to the rostrum for the first time for the factory Ducati Team.

As the lights went out, poleman Marquez and second place Petrucci immediately went toe-to-toe into Turn 3, with the number 93 just getting the better of the Italian as everyone made it through the tricky left-right in one piece. It was the top three on the grid who held the top three positions in the race, and Marquez started to edge out a half-second gap on the field.

But Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) was on the move. He forced his way past fellow GP19 rider Petrucci and immediately locked his radar on the back of Marquez’ Honda. And it wasn’t long before the 0.5 gap was bridged as Miller slammed in the fastest lap of the race before chucking it up the inside of Marquez at Turn 3 on Lap 5. Two laps later Marquez went to return the favour and both riders ran slightly wide; Miller getting the cutback to lead but Marquez sweeping up the inside of the Ducati…as Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) joined the fray at the front.

Biker T-Shirts UK

With Marquez back in the lead though, he began to get into a rhythm. A tenth here and a tenth there slowly stretched the gap out to half a second as the Spaniard posted the fastest lap of the race and it was hammer down for the Championship leader.

The gap to Miller and Dovizioso kept on rising and as Marquez ticked Lap 14 off, it was over a second and it soon became a race for second between the three Ducatis, with Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) not completely out of the equation but back in fifth. With 11 to go Marquez was two seconds up the road as Dovi made his move past Miller, the Australian running wide at Turn 7 as Petrucci began to build up his speed and close down the podium places.

A few laps later, the number 9 was past Miller and setting his sights on his teammate. With five laps to go Petrucci struck for P2 but ran wide and the duel would continue – but Dovizioso kept on getting it back. Meanwhile, Marquez had built up nearly a four-second gap as he cruised round to claim his third win of the season in dominant style, equalling teammate Jorge Lorenzo’s premier class win tally (47), which is joint fourth on the list. Although no match for Marquez on the day, Dovi took an important second for 20 more points and Petrucci returned to the rostrum for the first time since Le Mans last season.

Miller held off Rossi by a tenth to earn a solid fourth in France, ‘The Doctor’ not quite able keep tabs on the podium battle and coming home fifth. Just behind him, meanwhile, was a big contender for ride of the day: the best result of the season so far for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Pol Espargaro. The Spaniard had looked strong all weekend and he proved it in the race, taking an awesome sixth place and over a second ahead of the next man up, Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT).

Home hero Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) eventually crossed the line in P8, which won’t be what he wanted from the French Grand Prix but there was plenty to write about once again. Off to a bad start and dropping outside the points in the early stages, fast Fabio unleashed some searing pace to slice back through the field to only just over a second behind his teammate. Podium potential once again, the fight rolls on to Mugello.

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) lost out to Quartararo in the latter stages, the British rider finishing ninth, with the top ten completed by Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins. A P19 start hampered the Spaniard’s French GP as he slips from second to third in the standings. Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team) earns his best Honda result in 11th, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), home favourite Johann Zarco (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and the two Red Bull KTM Tech 3’s of Hafizh Syahrin – the Malaysian’s first points of the season – and Miguel Oliveira completing the points. Oliveira was handed a penalty that dropped him below Syahrin in the standings, but both still scored – as did all four KTMs in a good day at the office for the Austrian factory.

Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) collided with Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and they crashed out together on Lap 7, with Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) also crashing – riders ok. Andrea Iannone (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) retired, and there was huge drama on the warm-up lap before the race had even begun. On the brink of his 200th GP start, Karel Abraham (Reale Avintia Racing) and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s rookie Joan Mir both crashed – separately – heading into Turn 3. Mir was able to get back to the pits and get back out to join the race, but Abraham was black flagged for coming out of pitlane after the leader had crossed the line on Lap 1.

That’s a wrap, and the rain stayed away in the end as Marquez reigned over Le Mans for the second year running. However, his lead is only eight points over Dovizioso in the Championship as we move onto the latter’s home race: Mugello. Will the tables turn there? Tune in in two weeks.

Race results:
1 – Marc Marquez (SPA – Honda) 41’53.647
2 – Andrea Dovizioso (ITA – Ducati) +1.984
3 – Danilo Petrucci (ITA – Ducati) +2.142





MotoGP Gallery

Viñales strikes late to top the Official Test 1Marquez wins, Quartararo soars and chaos reigns at Catalunya 1Quartararo takes on Marquez as Yamaha make it a tight battle at the top in Barcelona 1Fabio Quartararo heads a four-factory fight on Friday 1MotoGP70: Riders suit up to celebrate the history of the sport in style 1"Four, maybe six riders can fight for the win": MotoGP™ ready for battle in Barcelona 2MotoGP70: Barcelona starts the celebrations 1Danilo Petrucci storms Mugello for first Grand Prix win 1Danilo Petrucci storms Mugello for first Grand Prix win 1Reigning Champion vs rookie: Marquez snatches pole from Quartararo at Mugello 1Rookie invasion: Bagnaia and Quartararo rule Mugello on Day 1 1“One of the world's best tracks": Mugello awaits MotoGP™ 1Lenovo™ announced as MotoGP™ Technical Partner 1All roads lead to Mugello: Dovizioso, Petrucci and Pirro ride through Tuscany 1MotoGP™ eSport Championship revs up for 2019 1CRUTCHLOW AND NAKAGAMI VISIT GIVI AND FLOW-METER AHEAD THE ITALIAN GP 2Marquez makes history for Honda ahead of a Ducati duel for the podium 1Marquez makes history for Honda ahead of a Ducati duel for the podium 1Marquez equals Rossi with pole, Petrucci and Miller complete the front row 1Vinales fights off Marquez to go fastest in France 1Alpinestars Presents: Limited Edition Johann Zarco 2019 Supertech R Race Replica 2“I expect to be fast”: fighting talk in France 1Alpinestars Launches: 2019 MM93 Collection 1From the City of Light to Le Mans: Quartararo, Zarco and Lorenzo make a pit stop in Paris 1Motorcycle GP Legends To Appear at the Silverstone Classic 1BMW M Power for the fastest qualifier in 2019 1Andrea Dovizioso stuns Silverstone to retake the Championship lead 1MOTOGP STAR DOVIZIOSO TO RACE FOR AUDI IN THE DTM 1Quartararo crushes his lap record in testing 1Marquez wins, Rins gains and Quartararo heads home heartbroken 1


15.8k Followers
Follow

You may also like

Tony Arbolino takes second career pole for the season finale

Perfection for ‘Pecco’, heartbreak for Gardner as the Aussie is just denied pole

Prepare for the second off-season battle between the ZX-10RR and V4 R

Jonathan Rea returns to the top step of the podium in Race 1

Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup returns for 2019