Lorenzo wins French MotoGP

Source:AFP Published: 2016-5-8 22:08:01

Takes overall lead in world championship standings

Jorge Lorenzo put in an exhibition ride to win a thrilling French MotoGP Grand Prix to top the world championship standings on Sunday.

The Yamaha rider crossed the line more than 10 seconds clear of his teammate Valentino Rossi, with Maverick Vinales of Suzuki in third.

Lorenzo, who takes over the lead of the 2016 title race from Marc Marquez, was completing a perfect weekend in Le Mans after setting a record-breaking lap in qualifying on Saturday.

The defending world champion enjoyed a serene afternoon at the historic Bugatti circuit, avoiding mayhem behind as no fewer than eight riders failed to complete the 28 laps.

Lorenzo now leads Marquez by 5 points.

Marquez was one of those to crash, although he remounted his Honda to trail in at the rear of the pack.

Lorenzo got off to a quick start from pole to command this fifth leg of the season.

The main winner at the start was Andrea Dovizioso, riding for Ducati, who surged from sixth on the grid to race in second, tracked by Marquez.

Rossi, who set off from a season-lowest seventh after a mistake-strewn qualifying, drew a huge roar from the crowd when he nipped past Marquez as the midway point of the race approached.

The hugely popular Italian veteran soon only had his teammate Lorenzo ahead of him after overtaking Dovizioso.

With 13 laps to go, Marquez and Dovizioso exited the scene in carbon copy crashes on turn seven, their bikes slipping from underneath them, to promote Vinales to third.

Championship leader Marquez valiantly climbed back on board.

Unaffected by all that drama, Lorenzo raced smoothly in front, well clear of Rossi, who sought to follow up his win in Spain a fortnight ago with 10 laps remaining.

Lorenzo, who was never in danger of being caught by Rossi in the closing stages, reflected on his 63rd overall victory and 42nd in MotoGP.

"I wanted to keep a high pace and not lose concentration, I kept pushing on the throttle," he said.

"I could breathe a little more when Marquez and Dovizioso crashed."

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