Round 5 of the 2016 MotoGPTM World Championship at Le Mans-Bugatti, France, was won by Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). The Majorcan is back on top of the provisional standings thanks to his victory over team-mate Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar).
After establishing a new qualifying lap record for Le Mans-Bugatti (1m31.975s) to claim pole position for the French Grand Prix, Lorenzo got away to a first class start and defended his lead from ‘lights out’ to the end of the 28-lap race. His speed and consistency allowed him to take the flag with a 10-second cushion over Rossi.
Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone did their best to match the 2015 world champion’s early pace, but the latter fell in his bid to close the gap on Lap 8.
With Lorenzo clear in front, Dovizioso then found himself under pressure from Marquez (Team Repsol Honda), as well as from Rossi who succeeded in easing past both men on the race’s 14th lap.
Marquez and Dovizioso did their best to stay on the Italian’s tail but both fell practically simultaneously three laps later.
Their woes handed third spot to Maverick Viñales who earned Suzuki’s first podium finish since Loris Capirossi’s third place at Brno, Czech Republic, in 2008. It was also the Spanish youngster’s first top-three result since his promotion to motorcycle racing’s premier class in 2015.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) ended up fourth, ahead of the best-placed independent team rider Pol Espargaró (Monster Yamaha Tech3).
Aleix Espargaró (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Yakhnich), Héctor Barberá (Avintia), Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and Stefan Bradl (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) rounded out the top 10.
Loris Baz (Avintia Racing) – the only Frenchman in the race – crossed the line in 12th spot, ahead of Marquez who succeeded in completing the distance despite his fall.
Thanks to his second victory of the year, Lorenzo tops the provisional Riders’ standings, five and 12 points clear of Marquez and Rossi respectively.
Next round: Italian Grand Prix, Mugello (May 20-22).
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