Ducati’s Jack Miller was one of the many riders to receive a double penalty in difficult wet conditions which made the MotoGP French GP a chaotic battle.
Ducati’s Jack Miller secured his second consecutive victory of the season after the Spanish GP
Jack Miller won the absolutely chaotic MotoGP French Grand Prix at Le Mans in what was a flag-to-flag race. The Ducati rider managed to overcome two long lap penalties and a late charge from Johann Zarco on the Pramac Ducati to victory, while the poleman Fabio Quartararo on the Yamaha factory secured the last place on the podium. The French GP was the first flag-to-flag race since the Brno GP in 2017 after the Rain Gods were generous in the first half of the race.
The French GP saw Quartararo on pole, but a third-placed Miller got off to a better start and managed to take first place leading to the first corner, followed by Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales and Quartararo. Meanwhile, Marc Marquez from the Honda factory took a P4 in front of LCR driver Takaaki Nakagami. In the second lap, Vinales took the lead from Miller and the top three riders were now separated from the rest of the field by 1.7 seconds.
Also read: MotoGP: Jack Miller wins Spanish GP as Ducati finishes 1-2
The first wave of rain started to appear in the third round, and Miller bravely maintained the momentum to regain first place and Vinales fell to fifth place. Quartararo was hot on Miller’s tail, however, and the riders engaged in an uphill battle for leadership. The rider switched positions during the fourth lap, Miller regaining the place one lap later. However, the riders were called into the pits to exchange their wet bikes.
Miller and teammate Francesco Bagnaia were hit with double long-lap penalties for speeding in the pit lane, while Quartararo pulled up on the wrong side of the Yamaha box, earning him a long-lap penalty. also.
This allowed Marquez to lead the race for the first time since Valencia 2019. The rider took a 2s lead over Quartararo and held the place for a few more laps before gaining the upper hand in the final corners. He returned to 18th place but crashed one last time while continuing the grid with 10 more laps to go.
Miller was faster than Quartararo in coming back to the track with the wet wet rear tire. The Yamaha rider served his penalty on lap 12 and Miller took the opportunity to grab the lead by creating a gap of almost 4 seconds in the final stages. The Frenchman had nothing to say to the rider and Miller was not threatened until the checkered flag came out on lap 27.
As the skies cleared towards the end of the race and the track dried up, Quartararo’s pace slumped with significant stress on his soft front tire, allowing Johann Zarco to catch up with the Yamaha factory. The rider passed Quartararo on lap 21 and placed second with a gap of 3.970 seconds. Meanwhile, the pole-sitter was more than 14 seconds behind the leader of the race but retained the position denying the place to Bagnaia.
Fifth was Danilo Petrucci on the Tech3 KTM, followed by Alex Marquez on the LCR Honda finishing sixth with his teammate Nakagami in P7. Pol Espargaro of Repsol Honda won the P8 with Iker Lecuona of Tech3 KTM and Vinales placed in the top ten riders.
Valentino Rossi finished in 11th place on the Yamaha SRT while Franco Morbidelli recovered to take 16th place after falling in the first lap. Luca Marini and Enea Basitniani of Avintia Ducati finished 12th and 14th respectively with Brad Binder of KTM separating the two. Tito Rabat of Pramac Racing was one of the last to finish the race.
The rain drenched French GP saw a number of crashes which included both Suzuki riders Alex Rins and Joan Mir, and KTM’s Miguel Oliveira. The Aprilias of Aleix Espargaro and Lorenzo Savadori were also out of competition due to mechanical problems.
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