Lorenzo Wins Crash-Ridden French GP, Amazing Marquez and Iannone Fight

2015 Le Mans podium with Rossi, Lorenzo and Dovizioso (L-R) 23 photos
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Jorge Lorenzo got on the top step of the podium as he claimed a new MotoGP victory in France, at Le Mans, improving his own record at the track and relaunching the season as he climbs to the second place in the standings.
Starting third on the front row, Lorenzo showed once more his ability to take off impeccably and then set out to make a flawless race in the leading position. Dovizioso kept up with him for a good part of the race but yielded to the attacks of Valentino Rossi, who also had an amazing weekend.

After passing Dovizioso, the 9-time world champion set out for an attack on the leader, but could not catch Lorenzo. Even so, with a gap of under 4 seconds, we can say that Rossi was rather close to his team mate, especially as Dovizioso, who got a new podium was more than 12 seconds adrift at the end of the race.

A fierce battle for the fourth position

While the top three riders set the pace of the race, the most interesting things happened just behind them, namely in the fierce three-way battle for the fourth position.

Bradley Smith, Marc Marquez and Andrea Iannone were all within striking distance of the fourth place, and especially the last two have offered a most thrilling show. Things are even more interesting as Iannone rode with a dislocated shoulder yet has carried the battle with down to the wire.

Marquez, who struggled with brake issue in mid-race, found a way to pass Iannone, but the two switched places countless times during the final laps. Smith watched Iannone and Marquez battle right under his eyes, and finished the race in a very good 6th position, under a second behind the Ducati factory machine.

It's now clear that Iannone is becoming a very strong rider in the premier class, aided by the new Desmosedici GP15 machine. The Le Mans race proved that he can fight back against anyone on the grid, and seeing his way of dealing with Marquez made us wonder if the Spaniard could pass him had Iannone not been injured.

Crashing at Le Mans was the topic of the day

No less than 7 riders have crashed out of the race in France, with wipeouts taking place from the earliest stages. Miller, Abraham, Crutchlow, Redding, Di Meglio, Aleix Espargaro and Stefan Bradl have not finished the race.

Le Mans also marked Dani Pedrosa's return to the track after a three-race absence caused by a very invasive arm pump operation. Pedrosa crashed as well, but was able to restart his bike. Despite his chances for a presence at the top of the pack went down the drain, Pedrosa remained on the track, most likely to gather more data with his bike and test his arm's resilience for the length of a full race.

With the Bugatti circuit at Le Mans being a difficult and almost psychotic one, Pedrosa wanted to see how his arm behaves under hard racing conditions and finished the race in the 16th position, but far from the last point-earning spot. Nicky Hayden was the best Open rider, 11th across the finish line.

Rossi is still leading in the provisional ranking with 102 points, but Lorenzo got closer in second, with 87 points, leaving Dovizioso third, 4 points short. Marquez retains the fourth position with 69 points while Iannone concludes the top 5 with 61.

Action return to Italy on May 31st with the Gran Premio d'Italia TIM at Mugello, on the Ducati turf.
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