Bastianini wins, Miller second in French MotoGP race

Enea Bastianini leads as Francesco Bagnaia crashes. Picture: MotoGP.com

Gresini Racing’s Enea Bastianini has won the French MotoGP while Jack Miller finished second after a late crash for factory Ducati team-mate Francesco Bagnaia.

Miller took the early lead with the holeshot from the middle of the front row at Le Mans, while Bastianini braked deep when they arrived at the Turn 3/Turn 4 chicane to nab second from Bagnaia.

The Gresini Ducati rider was quickly back to fourth, however, when he apparently went wide at Garage Vert and left the door open for Bagnaia and Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins.

The latter was on the deck at the start of Lap 3 when he ran off at the Turn 1/Turn 2 sweeper and lost the rear as he re-entered the race track.

Miller led until Lap 4, when he missed the apex at La Musee and let Bagnaia through, then came under pressure from Bastianini.

As Bagnaia crept away from his Ducati Lenovo team-mate, Bastianini went down the inside of the Queenslander and into second position at Garage Vert on Lap 12.

‘Bestia’ gradually closed the gap to Bagnaia before inheriting the lead on what was a disastrous Lap 21 for the works rider.

Bagnaia had already run wide and lost first position at Garage Vert before folding the front and crashing altogether five corners later at the Raccordement complex.

By then, Miller had drifted more than two seconds back from #23, but was looking safe in second position given he had shaken off recent pressure from Aprilia Racing’s Aleix Espargaro.

Bagnaia was briefly more than three seconds up before taking the chequered flag 2.718s ahead of Miller and another 1.464s clear of Espargaro after 27 laps.

The Aprilia rider had inherited third position thanks to three mistakes in front of him, but was still made to earn the podium when he had to fend off a challenge from Fabio Quartararo.

The Monster Energy Yamaha rider was only eighth at the end of the standing lap after a hair-raising near-collision with Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez but soon found his way past his fellow MotoGP champion.

Quartararo thus finished fourth while French compatriot Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati) got home in fifth, ahead of Marquez, Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu LCR Honda), Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM), Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Ducati), and Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing).

In the championship, Quartararo still leads, but his margin has been snipped to four points, with Espargaro second and Bastianini only another four points back in third, while Miller is fifth and Bagnaia has dropped to seventh.

Rins remounted after his wild Lap 3 spill but ultimately retired, and it became a double DNF for Suzuki when Joan Mir crashed out of fourth at Raccordement on Lap 15.

Remy Gardner’s race lasted just over three laps before he had a spill, Tech3 KTM team-mate Raul Fernandez later dropped his RC16 also, and then Red Bull KTM’s Miguel Oliveira went down at Turn 3 while running ninth on Lap 25.

The other rider of the seven who failed to make the chequered flag was Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin, who crashed on Lap 17.

Round 8 is the Italian MotoGP at Mugello on May 27-29.

Race results: French MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time/Gap
1 23 Enea BASTIANINI ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 41:34.613
2 43 Jack MILLER AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati +2.718
3 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia +4.182
4 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +4.288
5 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Pramac Racing Ducati +11.139
6 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +15.155
7 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda +16.680
8 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +18.459
9 10 Luca MARINI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati +20.541
10 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia +21.486
11 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +22.707
12 72 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati +23.408
13 49 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati +26.432
14 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP LCR Honda CASTROL Honda +28.710
15 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +29.433
16 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha +38.149
17 40 Darryn BINDER RSA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha +59.748
DNF 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +3 laps
DNF 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati +7 laps
DNF 89 Jorge MARTIN ESP Pramac Racing Ducati +11 laps
DNF 36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +14 laps
DNF 25 Raul FERNANDEZ ESP Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM +21 laps
DNF 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +22 laps
DNF 87 Remy GARDNER AUS Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM +24 laps

Race winner: 27 laps

Riders’ championship

Pos Rider Nat Pts
1 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA 102
2 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP 98
3 Enea BASTIANINI ITA 94
4 Alex RINS ESP 69
5 Jack MILLER AUS 62
6 Johann ZARCO FRA 62
7 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA 56
8 Brad BINDER RSA 56
9 Joan MIR ESP 56
10 Marc MARQUEZ ESP 54
11 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR 43
12 Pol ESPARGARO ESP 40
13 Maverick VIÑALES ESP 33
14 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN 30
15 Jorge MARTIN ESP 28
16 Luca MARINI ITA 21
17 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA 19
18 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA 19
19 Alex MARQUEZ ESP 18
20 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA 8
21 Darryn BINDER RSA 6
22 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO ITA 3
23 Remy GARDNER AUS 3
24 Raul FERNANDEZ ESP 0
25 Stefan BRADL GER 0
26 Lorenzo SAVADORI ITA 0

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