Miller masters a dramatic French GP to take victory

Jack Miller has taken back-to-back MotoGP victories in a chaotic French GP after rain caused drama throughout the field in Le Mans.

The inconsistency of the weather continued as the race came, with the first drops not expected until after the race.

When heavy rain fell just four laps in, a spanner was thrown into the works as teams were forced to bring out the wet-weather bikes in the pit-lane.

Miller got off to a good start from third and took the lead straight away, the two Yamaha’s slotted in behind the Ducati heading into Turn 1.

Taka Nakagami got off to a great start as he managed to make his way through the pack to fourth after starting on the third row.

The first of many incidents came on lap 1, as Pol Espargaro had a big moment out of Turn 10 and rejoined the track right in the middle of the pack, which sent Franco Morbidelli off and down into the gravel at Turn 11.

The chaos began on the fifth lap as the rain continued to get heavier around the track, with the white flag being waved to show that the riders could enter the pits and change to their wet-weather bikes.

Marc Marquez is known for his skills in the changing weather conditions, and the Spaniard made a pass on Alex Rins for third just before entering the pits.

At the same time, Miller went into the gravel s he struggled in the changing conditions, the Australian managed to keep his Ducati upright and rejoined the track.

Every rider came into the pits at the end of lap 5 and Marquez managed to take the lead of the race after a swift bike change.

One rider that didn’t make it to the pits was Joan Mir, who crashed out just before coming in.

Suzuki’s woes continued soon after, as Alex Rins crashed at Turn 4 just after leaving the pits making it three races in a row the Spaniard has crashed out of podium contention.

The drama continued on lap 6 as both Ducati’s were given double long-lap penalties for speeding in the pits, meaning Miller and Pecco Bagnaia had work to do to make up the lost time after taking the two penalties.

Maverick Vinales struggled to get up to speed in the wet conditions and dropped to eighth after the bike change, putting him out of contention for the win.

It looked like Marquez was set to pull away and take a commanding lead, but the Honda rider dropped his bike at the final corner on lap 8, he managed to rejoin the race but was down the order in 17th.

This handed Quartararo the race lead, but the Frenchman was then given a long-lap penalty for pulling into Vinales’ pit box during the bike swap.

The lead of the race then played into the hands of Miller, who despite taking a double long-lap penalty on lap 9 and lap 10 was right behind Quartararo come lap 11.

It was a disastrous race for the two Aprilia’s, as both Lorenzo Savadori and Aleix Espargaro were forced out of the French GP with mechanical issues on lap 12 and lap 16.

Miguel Oliveira was another fallen rider in the race, the Portuguese fell at Turn 3 on lap 13, Rins had his second crash of the race at the same corner a lap later and retired.

Marquez looked to be charging through the pack after falling from the lead, but after making it back up to 11th he fell again at Turn 6, putting an end to his race.

Johann Zarco’s race started to heat up as he made his way past Taka Nakagami for third on lap 15, the Frenchman then began to chase down the top-two and eventually caught Quartararo at the start of lap 22.

The two LCR Honda’s were swallowed up by Bagnaia and Danilo Petrucci towards the end of the race as the two Italians took fourth and fifth.

Zarco looked to be chasing down Miller with just a few laps to go, but in the end the Australian held a solid gap to take his second victory in a row, the first time since Casey Stoner in 2012 that an Australian has won back-to-back MotoGP races.

Zarco and Quartararo finished second and third to make it two Frenchman on the podium in their home race.

Bagnaia crossed the line to take fourth ahead of Petrucci, with the two LCR Honda’s of Marquez and Nakagami in sixth and seventh.

Pol Espargaro takes eighth place in the French GP ahead of Iker Lecuona who takes a great ninth place finish for Tech3.

Vinales will want to forget his race quickly, the Yamaha rider finished in tenth, with Valentino Rossi and Luca Marini behind.

Brad Binder, Enea Bastianini and Tito Rabat round out the points finishers of the French GP.

After such a dramatic race in Le Mans, Quartararo retakes the lead of the championship by just one point, meaning it’s anyone’s to play for as the MotoGP paddock heads to Mugello in two weeks.

Final Classification

Position Rider Team Gap
1 Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team  
2 Johann Zarco Pramac Racing 3.970s
3 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha 14.468s
4 Pecco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team 16.172s
5 Danilo Petrucci Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 21.430s
6 Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol 23.509s
7 Taka Nakagami LCR Honda Idemitsu 30.164s
8 Pol Espargaro Repsol Honda Team 35.221s
9 Iker Lecuona Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 40.432s
10 Maverick Vinales Monster Energy Yamaha 40.577s
11 Valentino Rossi Petronas Yamaha SRT 42.198s
12 Luca Marini Sky VR46 Avintia Team 52.408s
13 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 59.377s
14 Enea Bastianini Avintia Esponsorama Racing 1m02.224s
15 Tito Rabat Pramac Racing 1m09.651s
16 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha SRT 1m19.719s
Retired Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team  
Retired Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Racing Team Gresini  
Retired Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Racing  
Retired Alex Rins Team Suzuki Ecstar  
Retired Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia Racing Team Gresini  
Retired Joan Mir Team Suzuki Ecstar