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French GP: Brilliant Bastianini wins as Bagnaia crashes

Enea Bastianini

Bengaluru, May 15: For the third time in the 2022 FIM MotoGP World Championship season, Enea Bastianini is a winner as the Gresini Racing star put in a flawless performance in front of over 110,000 spectators to come out on top of a pulsating French GP at rthe famed Le Mans circuit.

The Beast, as he is known among his peers in the paddock, capitalised on a mistake from long-time race leader and pole-siter Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) to take the maximum 25 points, while Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) celebrated his second podium of the season, with Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro making it three premier class rostrums on the spin.

Local heroes Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) were unable to mark their home GP with a podium, as they had to settle for fourth and fifth.

French GP: Bagnaia grabs pole; Fluorescent yellow won't glow again as MotoGP decides to retire Rossi's No.46French GP: Bagnaia grabs pole; Fluorescent yellow won't glow again as MotoGP decides to retire Rossi's No.46

Six-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez rounded out the top six while Takaaki Nakagami can be pleased with another seventh place finish.

Despite missing a wing from the early stages, Brad Binder claimed P8, while his factory team-mate Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) recorded a Did Not Finish (DNF).

Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) and Maverick Vinales both claimed top 10 results in encouraging performances.

Bad luck for Bagnaia

Bagnaia started on pole alongside fellow Ducati rider Miller, and led for most of the race.

However, after working his way up from fifth, Bastianini overtook Miller and started making ground up on Bagnaia at the front.

The drama arrived on lap 21 as Bastianini overtook Bagnaia, before the latter immediately took his position back, only to hit the kicker and run wide, allowing Bastianini to ease back into the lead.

Matters got much worse for Bagnaia just a few turns later as he crashed out, seemingly trying too hard to make the ground up.

Francesco Bagnaia

The Italian rider had finished on the podium in six of his previous 12 MotoGP races (five wins), though had not reached it in any of his three Grand Prixs at Le Mans in the top category, and that run continued this time around.

It was certainly a race to remember in Le Mans, with French GP living up the billing in front of a euphoric crowd.

Next up for MotoGP is the Italian Grand Prix in Mugello on May 29 , where were are sure to see even more twists and turns in this fascinating 2022 FIM MotoGP World Championship. The race will also see MotoGP great Valentino Rossi's iconic No.46 being retired.

RESULTS (TOP 10):

1. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP)
2. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 2.718
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) + 4.182
4. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 4.288
5. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) + 11.139
6. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) + 15.155
7. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) + 16.680
8. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 18.459
9. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) + 20.541
10. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing) + 21.486

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

RIDERS

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 102

2. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) 98

3. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) 94

4. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 69

5. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo) 62

TEAMS

1. Aprilia Racing 131

2. Suzuki Ecstar 125

3. Monster Energy Yamaha 121

4. Ducati Lenovo 118

5. Red Bull KTM 99

(With Dorna Sports/OPTA inputs)

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Story first published: Sunday, May 15, 2022, 19:45 [IST]
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