Lorenzo takes MotoGP championship lead with Le Mans win

Updated: 

Jorge Lorenzo claimed a dominant victory at the Grand Prix of France at Le Mans to go top of the MotoGP championship standings on Sunday.

Defending world champion Lorenzo led from start to finish, marking the eighth straight race that the pole sitter has emerged victorious.

Movistar Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi was second with Suzuki Ecstar's Maverick Vinales claiming a first MotoGP podium as he benefited from the misfortune of Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez and Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso.

Both Marquez and Dovizioso came down with 13 laps remaining, with the latter forced to retire for the third consecutive race while the two-time world champion limped to a 13th-place finish.

It was a miserable day for Ducati - who Lorenzo will race for from next season - with Andrea Iannone having earlier crashed out of the race.

Lorenzo now leads Marquez by five points, with Rossi seven points further back.

 

LORENZO CONTINUES LE MANS LOVE AFFAIR

Lorenzo made a superb start and was never troubled as the chaos went on behind him. The Spaniard's win marked his fifth at Le Mans and third in five races at the circuit.

 

MARQUEZ SUFFERS CHAMPIONSHIP SETBACK

Marquez has been in excellent form this season, recording a pair of victories and two third-place finishes, but he and Dovizioso - having both been overtaken by Rossi - hit the deck in almost identical fashion at turn seven. His efforts in making it to the chequered flag netted him three points.

 

DOUBLE MISERY FOR DUCATI

Dovizioso's tumble was made all the more costly for Ducati as it followed that of Iannone who, while in second place, crashed in the seventh lap at turn eight. Both Ducati riders have now failed to finish in three of the opening five races.

 

IN THE POINTS

1. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:43'51.290
2. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) +10.654secs
3. Maverick Vinales (Suzuki) +14.177
4. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) +18.719
5. Pol Espargaro (Yamaha) +24.931
6. Aleix Espargaro (Suzuki) +32.921
7. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) +38.251
8. Hector Barbera (Ducati) +38.504
9. Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia) +48.536
10. Stefan Bradl (Aprilia) +54.502

 

TITLE STANDINGS

Jorge Lorenzo 90 
Marc Marquez 85 (+5)
Valentino Rossi 78 (+12)
Dani Pedrosa 53 (+37)
Maverick Vinales 49 (+41)

Yamaha 115
Honda 95 (+20)
Ducati 67 (+48)
Suzuki 55 (+60)
Aprilia 27 (+88)

NEXT UP

The crowd will be firmly on Rossi's side at the Grand Prix of Italy at Mugello on May 22.