MotoGP: Dominant Victory Overshadowed by Close Racing for Third During the French GP

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MotoGP action was back this weekend, with racing for the French GP coming from Le Mans, France. Fiat-Yamaha looked very strong coming into Sunday’s race, with a 1-2 qualifying session. Casey Stoner also looked like he had the French track’s number, as the Australian was the fastest rider in the warm-up session. Not to be counted out though, the Repsol Honda’s were sporting new frame configurations, which they were hoping would be the remedy to a lackluster start to the season. Read after the jump to see how it all panned out.

Although Valentino Rossi was first into Turn 1 at Le Mans, the Italian rider found several riders in-tow behind him. With Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo, Nicky Hayden, and Casey Stoner all within striking distance, it took several laps for things to settle down and to get riders vetted into position.

Lorenzo was quick to get around Pedrosa, and it only took him a few more laps to chase down his Fiat-Yamaha teammate. A few close laps later Lorenzo was past the Fiat-Yamaha of Rossi, and once Lorenzo was around Rossi, it didn’t long for the Spaniard to put a comfortable gap on the Italian. From here, the race for first and second was essentially over, as both riders put substantial gaps back to their pursuers.

While the Fiat-Yamaha duo rode off into the French sunset, a battle raged on for who would take the final podium step. Dani Pedrosa was the man to beat, but Andrea Dovizioso put down some solid laps, and was soon on the tail of the other HRC Honda. While the two teammates battled for supremacy, Nicky Hayden slowly caught up to the pair. Pedrosa would see himself get passed both by Dovi and Hayden in the final moments of the race, finishing a disappointing 5th for the day.

Other disappointments came in the form of Casey Stoner, who as you may have noticed in this report, has not been mentioned at length. This is because the Ducati rider lost the rear-end (after saving the front-end) of his bike just moments after passing his teammate Nicky Hayden. Crashing only a few laps into the French GP, this is another disappointing weekend for Stoner, who was visibly distraught in the team paddock.

Also crashing out were both Ben Spies and Loris Capirossi, who found themselves in the gravel in the same spot on the track.

MotoGP action will be back at the track, when MotoGP heads to Mugello on June 6th. Stay tuned race fans.

Race Results from MotoGP at the French GP:

Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 44’29.114
2 46 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA 44’34.786 5.672
3 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 44’36.986 7.872
4 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 44’38.460 9.346
5 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 44’41.727 12.613
6 33 Marco MELANDRI HONDA 44’51.032 21.918
7 14 Randy DE PUNIET HONDA 44’58.402 29.288
8 40 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 45’02.242 33.128
9 41 Aleix ESPARGARO DUCATI 45’02.607 33.493
10 58 Marco SIMONCELLI HONDA 45’02.919 33.805
11 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA HONDA 45’03.460 34.346
12 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 45’06.237 37.123
13 36 Mika KALLIO DUCATI 45’24.175 55.061
Not Classified
65 Loris CAPIROSSI SUZUKI 9’44.122 22 laps
11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 9’47.284 22 laps
27 Casey STONER DUCATI 3’18.638 26 laps