MotoGP rivals agree title race is wide open


The leading protagonists in the battle for the MotoGP title agree that the race for championship glory is wide open following Jorge Lorenzo's dominant victory at Sunday's French Grand Prix.

Reigning world champion Lorenzo led from start to finish at Le Mans and now tops the standings after previous leader Marc Marquez crashed and finished 13th.

However, Marquez is only five points behind Lorenzo, while Valentino Rossi is a further seven back after climbing from seventh on the grid to take second in round five of the season.

Lorenzo, who turned 29 earlier this week, reflected on an "almost perfect" race and added: "Before this race, Marquez didn't make any mistakes and this was the opposite of the Yamaha riders because I crashed in Argentina and Rossi [crashed] in Austin, so we start from zero in the next races."

Rossi was unsurprisingly positive after fighting his way up the field.

"I'm so happy, because when you start from seventh position and you take 20 points. it's very good," said the Italian. "Also because they are 20 very important points.

"In the championship I'm 12 points behind Jorge and seven behind Marc. This means that between us three the championship is wide open and we have to concentrate.

"I'm just third at this moment, so I have to think race by race and especially think of Mugello [the venue for round six] and try to be competitive there."

Repsol Honda's Marquez limped home in 13th after falling from fourth place, but claimed he "had to take risks".

He added: "The positive is that I managed to get three points and I'm only five off Jorge Lorenzo in the standings, which isn't a lot."