Maverick Vinales has won three out of five MotoGP rounds after he added the French MotoGP at Le Mans to his score when Valentino Rossi ran wide and crashed on the last lap, losing the lead.
After a race-long duel, Rossi had finally passed Vinales with three laps to go when on the final lap he made a mistake in Turn eight and fell on Turn eleven.
Frenchman Johann Zarco delighted his local fans by staying with the front-runners to finish on the podium for the first time, in second place.
Marc Marquez also crashed from contention, while his Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa finished third.
Vinales has now made a break on the field and goes into the next round at Mugello in Italy with a 17 point advantage.
Although both Rossi and defending champion Marquez came away from France empty-handed, they are still confident of getting back into the points race. Mugello is Rossi’s home track and Marquez still thinks his Honda has the edge on the Yamaha’s.
The Maverick Vinales win on a Yamaha marks Yamaha’s 500th GP win since the brand started racing and also celebrates the great rider’s names that have been aboard all those Yamaha models, adding to motorcycle racing’s history, perhaps like no other brand.
MotoGP Round Five – Results French GP at Le Mans
- Maverick Viñales ESP Yamaha (YZR-M1)
2. Johann Zarco FRA Yamaha (YZR-M1)
3. Dani Pedrosa ESP Honda (RC213V)
4. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati (Desmosedici GP17)
5. Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V)
6. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Ducati (Desmosedici GP17)
7. Jonas Folger GER Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)
8. Jack Miller AUS (RC213V)
9. Loris Baz FRA (Desmosedici GP15)
10. Andrea Iannone ITA Suzuki (GSX-RR)
11. Tito Rabat ESP (RC213V)
12. Pol Espargaro ESP KTM (RC16)
13. Bradley Smith GBR KTM (RC16)
14. Sam Lowes GBR Aprilia (RS-GP)
15. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Suzuki (GSX-RR)
Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha (YZR-M1) DNF
Aleix Espargaro ESP Aprilia (RS-GP) DNF
Marc Marquez ESP Honda (RC213V) DNF
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing took their best MotoGP finish at Le Mans with 12th for Pol Espargaro and 13th for Bradley Smith.