After overcoming tricky conditions to claim the 55th premier-class pole position of his career, Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team) went on to win the SHARK Helmets Grand Prix de France, ahead of Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) and Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) completed Round 5 of the 2019 World Championship in fourth and fifth positions.
Márquez got away to an excellent start in dry, chilly conditions, while Jack Miller leapt from third on the grid to appear just behind the reigning champion early on. The Australian even took the lead momentarily on Lap 5, but Marquez recovered top spot two laps later.
Aided by the performance and consistency of his soft-compound MICHELIN Power Slicks, the Spaniard went on to pull out a handsome gap and, with 10 laps remaining, his safety margin stood at three seconds. He eventually took the flag almost two seconds clear of Dovizioso to notch up his second straight win at Le Mans.
After securing Michelin’s 400
Spectators were treated to a thrilling scrap involving Ducati Team’s pair and Jack Miller for the other podium placings. Dovizioso succeeded in edging past team-mate Petrucci on the 17
Jack Miller ended up in fourth place and best independent team rider, while Rossi was fifth.
The strong run of Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Racing Factory) was rewarded with sixth, his best result of the season, followed by Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo. After qualifying 10
The other top-10 finishers were Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) and Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR).
Saturday’s rain forced the riders to fit MICHELIN Power Rains for Free Practice 3 and Qualifying, and they nearly all then opted for soft MICHELIN Power Slicks front and rear for the race itself. The sole exception was Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) who chose a medium-compound front for the relatively cool conditions.
Márquez has consequently extended his provisional Riders’ championship lead to eight points over Dovizioso, while Rins and Rossi are now 20 and 23 points astray.
Next race: Gran Premio d'Italia Oakley, Mugello (May 31-June 2)