MotoGP: Enea Bastianini Takes His Third Win of the Season in the French Grand Prix as Pecco Bagnaia Crashes Out
The Beast Enea Bastianini takes his third win of the season and puts his championship back on track
Despite worries about the weather, it was clear blue skies in Le Mans and the track was getting hotter and hotter. A lot of front tyre choices were being made with all the Honda’s and Yamaha’s moving to the medium while others remained with the soft.
The lights went out and it was Jack Miller who took the holeshot ahead of Enea Bastianini and Pecco Bagnaia, Fabio Quartararo had a terrible start dropping down to eighth place. Bastianini made a mistake into turn eight and that allowed Pecco and Alex Rins to move into the podium places.
Quartararo tried to pass Takaaki Nakagami into the Blue S’s but Nakagami attacked back into turn 13, forcing them both wide and Marc Marquez went through into seventh. Nakagami tried to make a move into turn three but ran on.
Alex Rins on lap three went straight on into turn one and fell heavily at turn four, a nasty crash for one of the championship contenders. Quartararo had made his way passed Marquez into sixth place. Bagnaia was catching Miller, setting constant fastest laps of the race.
Miller went wide at turn seven which allowed Pecco to pull alongside and move into first place on lap four. Remy Gardner crashed out of the race in turn seven after being top rookie in the opening laps of the race.
On lap six Aleix had a couple of moments on the front through turns seven and eight and Quartararo was on the back of the Aprilia, but the Frenchman out-braked himself into turn nine, Fabio had more work to do the chase that home victory.
On lap seven Raul Fernandez made it a double DNF for Tech 3 KTM with the Spaniard crashing out at turn six.
By lap 11 there were two sets of three-rider trains, Bagnaia, Miller and Bastianini for first and Mir, Aleix and Quartararo. Bastianini was looking for a way passed Miller, but Miller was very strong on the brakes.
On lap 12 Bastianini out-braked Miller into turn eight and made it stick and now set his sights on Bagnaia who had a 0.6 second gap in-front.
The top six was separated by 2.4 seconds, then on lap 15 Joan Mir lost the front at turn 13, a disasterous day for Suzuki. Bastianini was closing in slowly on Bagnaia, with the Italians beginning to drop Miller. On lap 18 Jorge Martin suffered his fifth DNF of the season and that could put an end to his Factory Ducati hopes for 2023.
On lap 21 Bastianini made a surprise move into turn three, but Pecco immediately responded into turn six, but then Pecco hit the bump into turn eight and ran extremally wide and allowed Bastianini through, it then got worse for Pecco as he lost the front at turn 13 which could end his championship hopes.
Quartararo was looking to find a way passed Aleix, but the Aprilia was too strong down the straights and the home rider would have to pull a surprise move when the Spaniard least expects it. Miguel Oliveira’s season gets worse as he lost the front at turn three out of ninth place on lap 25.
Enea Bastianini took his third win of the season ahead of Jack Miller in second and Aleix Espargaro held off Fabio Quartararo to take his third consecutive third place. Johann Zarco finished inside the top five for his home grand prix. Marc Marquez finished top Honda in sixth with Takaaki Nakagami behind in seventh.
Despite losing his front-left aero winglet Brad Binder brought the Red Bull KTM home in eighth and the only KTM finisher, Luca Marini took ninth place ahead of Maverick Vinales who rounded out the top ten.
Fabio Quartararo still leads the championship with 102 points, but Aleix has closed the gap down to four points and Bastianini eight points behind. It looks like it’s a three way fight for the title with the Factory Ducati’s and Suzuki’s in need of closing the gap.
Round Eight will take place in the hills of Tuscany at Mugello, a home round for a lot of the riders, it takes place in a fortnights time from 27-29th May.
Featured Image: MotoGP.com