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MotoGP analysis: How Marquez made history for Honda in France

Marc Marquez

Bengaluru, May 20: It was a history making occasion for MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda Team at the French Grand Prix in Le Mans.

The Spaniard converted pole into a dominant win clear at the front, and in doing so he took Honda's 300th premier class victory - as well as equalling the premier class win count of team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

Behind him it was a Ducati duel for the podium, with Andrea Dovizioso just able to hold off team-mate Danilo Petrucci over the line. 'DesmoDovi' equalled the podium tally of MotoGP legend Mick Doohan across all classes, Petrucci took to the rostrum for the first time for the factory Ducati Team.

Petrucci moves up

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.

Miller magic

Miller magic

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

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.

Podium finish

Podium finish

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.

(By a special arrangement with Dorna Sports)

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Story first published: Monday, May 20, 2019, 12:54 [IST]
Other articles published on May 20, 2019
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