Petrucci moves up
As the lights went out, poleman Marquez and second place Petrucci immediately went toe-to-toe into Turn 3, with the number 93 just getting the better of the Italian as everyone made it through the tricky left-right in one piece.
It was the top three on the grid who held the top three positions in the race, and Marquez started to edge out a half-second gap on the field.
But Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) was on the move. He forced his way past fellow GP19 rider Petrucci and immediately locked his radar on the back of Marquez' Honda.
And it wasn't long before the 0.5 gap was bridged as Miller slammed in the fastest lap of the race before chucking it up the inside of Marquez at Turn 3 on Lap 5.
Dovizioso joins the fray
Two laps later Marquez went to return the favour and both riders ran slightly wide; Miller getting the cutback to lead but Marquez sweeping up the inside of the Ducati...as Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) joined the fray at the front.
With five laps to go Petrucci struck for P2 but ran wide and the duel would continue - but Dovizioso kept on getting it back.
Although no match for Marquez on the day, Dovi took an important second for 20 more points and Petrucci returned to the rostrum for the first time since Le Mans last season.
The rain stayed away in the end as Marquez reigned over Le Mans for the second year running. However, his lead is only eight points over Dovizioso in the FIM MotoGP World Championship as we move onto the latter's home race at Mugello in two weeks' time.