Miller goes back-to-back with record MotoGP win

Jack Miller celebrates victory at Le Mans

Jack Miller has defied a double long lap penalty to take a commanding MotoGP victory in the French Grand Prix.

Having qualified third, Miller grabbed the lead immediately by beating Monster Energy Yamaha team-mates Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales off the start line.

There were many twists and tales along the way but Miller would ultimately get the job done with a 3.970s margin to Johann Zarco.

Mixed conditions at Le Mans made for a chaotic race as a number of riders crashed out; including two incidents each for Marc Marquez and Alex Rins.

Miller though would not be caught out, besides the penalty he and Ducati Lenovo Team stable-mate Francesco Bagnaia copped for speeding in pit lane.

As it would turn out, Miller would become the first rider in MotoGP history to have been issued a double long lap penalty and still score a podium – let alone a win.

It’s a second straight win for the 26-year-old following his success in Jerez earlier this month, and continues a strong turnaround from a poor start to the season.

With the sun shining, a dry race was declared for the start.

Franco Morbidelli was the first to strike trouble, losing control and making contact with a fast-starting Valentino Rossi and Pol Espargaro.

Joan Mir crashed out by the time it had become clear rain was falling and by Lap 5 the white flag was showing, allowing riders to swap bikes and move to wet tyres.

Miller and Quartararo had been having a grand squabble for the lead before the former had an off, and the entire field bowled into the pits for a bike swap.

Marc Marquez emerged from the lane in first, with it later becoming apparent that Quartararo had stopped in the wrong pit bay.

It was during that sequence that Miller and Bagnaia drew the ire of officials, although the double long lap penalty did not seem to dramatically cost either.

Marquez would lose the lead with a Turn 12 crash on Lap 8 but managed to keep his #93 Repsol Honda going.

Miller then moved to the front by passing Quartararo four laps later – just as the Frenchman was issued a long lap sanction for his parking infringement.

Lorenzo Savadori and Miguel Oliveira were the next casualties as Miller stretched his legs at the head of the field.

Zarco would soon pass Takaaki Nakagami and set his sights on hunting down Quartararo, eventually getting by on Lap 22.

In the interim, Marc Marquez – who had charged back to 11th – would crash for a second and final time on Lap 18.

The podium placings would remain unchanged in the closing stages; delighted third-place finisher Quartararo reclaiming the championship lead from Bagnaia, with a one-point advantage.

Bagnaia recovered from 16th on the grid to take fourth, ahead of Danilo Petrucci.

Alex Marquez, Nakagami, Pol Espargaro, Iker Lecuona and Viñales rounded out the top 10, with Rossi 11th.

Having started the season with two ninths and a DNF, Miller has suddenly climbed to fourth in the standings.

Mugello will host Round 6 of the season on May 30.

MotoGP race results: Round 5 at Le Mans

Position Number Rider Team Bike Time/Gap
1 43 Jack MILLER Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 47’25.473
2 5 Johann ZARCO Pramac Racing Ducati 3.97
3 20 Fabio QUARTARARO Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 14.468
4 63 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 16.172
5 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 21.43
6 73 Alex MARQUEZ LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 23.509
7 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 30.164
8 44 Pol ESPARGARO Repsol Honda Team Honda 35.221
9 27 Iker LECUONA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 40.432
10 12 Maverick VIÑALES Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 40.577
11 46 Valentino ROSSI Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 42.198
12 10 Luca MARINI SKY VR46 Avintia Ducati 52.408
13 33 Brad BINDER Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 59.377
14 23 Enea BASTIANINI Avintia Esponsorama Ducati +1’02.224
15 53 Tito RABAT Pramac Racing Ducati +1’09.651
16 21 Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 4 Laps
Not classified 93 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team Honda 10 Laps
Not classified 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 12 Laps
Not classified 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 15 Laps
Not classified 42 Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 15 Laps
Not classified 32 Lorenzo SAVADORI Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 16 Laps
Not classified 36 Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 23 Laps

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