MotoGP: Pedrosa wins eventful French GP

20th May 2013 12:08 am

Pedrosa was well clear of Cal Crutchlow, second aboard the Tech 3 Yamaha despite riding with a shin fracture from his practice crash

Dani Pedrosa dominated an eventful French Grand Prix to take over the top spot in the MotoGP championship standings.

Pedrosa was well clear of Cal Crutchlow, second aboard the Tech 3 Yamaha despite riding with a shin fracture from his practice crash.

The win moved Pedrosa six points clear of team-mate Marc Marquez, who recovered to third on the second Honda after a poor start, and 17 ahead of Jorge Lorenzo, whose Yamaha was only seventh.

Andrea Dovizioso's Ducati seized the early initiative on a tentative first lap during which Marquez dropped to the rear of the top 10.

Lorenzo and Pedrosa filtered into second and third while Valentino Rossi moved into fourth on the second lap and on the following tour Pedrosa moved into second, passing Lorenzo and quickly reeling in the Ducati out front.

Crutchlow dispatched Nicky Hayden and then Stefan Bradl in successive laps to move into fifth, before hauling his satellite Yamaha on to the tail of the two factory bikes.

Pedrosa passed Dovizioso at Turn 6 but the Italian tucked underneath him as the Honda ran wide, though Pedrosa made the move stick shortly after.

He started to extend his lead, and was almost two seconds clear when a mistake at Turn 4 dropped him back behind Dovizioso once again.

He reclaimed the lead at Turn 6 on lap 11 and three laps later had to repeat the move yet again, at the same corner, after another mistake had allowed Dovizioso back in front.

Lorenzo was struggling at this point and dropped to the back of the six-bike train before slipping to eighth by the end of the race. Crutchlow moved into third on lap 14, powering past Rossi on the exit of the Dunlop chicane.

As the race began to calm down, Rossi crashed on lap 18, dropping his bike on the entry to the chicane as he defended from Hayden, rejoining in 12th.

A mistake from Dovizioso five laps from the finish allowed Crutchlow to pass the Ducati on the run down to Turn 4, with Marquez, who had caught and passed Hayden, demoting Dovizioso to third on the penultimate lap.

The two Ducatis therefore came home in fourth and fifth, while the various incidents had allowed Alvaro Bautista to creep almost unnoticed into sixth, keeping Lorenzo at arm's length after passing him during the Spaniard's early drop down the order.

Aleix Espargaro was the top CRT rider in 13th, just behind the recovering Rossi.

Results - 28 laps:

Pos Rider             Bike                   Time/Gap
 1. Dani Pedrosa      Honda                  49m17.707s
 2. Cal Crutchlow     Tech 3 Yamaha          + 4.863s
 3. Marc Marquez      Honda                  + 6.949s
 4. Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati                 + 10.087s
 5. Nicky Hayden      Ducati                 + 18.471s
 6. Alvaro Bautista   Gresini Honda          + 23.561s
 7. Jorge Lorenzo     Yamaha                 + 27.961s
 8. Michele Pirro     Ducati                 + 40.775s
 9. Bradley Smith     Tech 3 Yamaha          + 41.407s
10. Stefan Bradl      LCR Honda              + 1m00.995s
11. Andrea Iannone    Pramac Ducati          + 1m05.110s
12. Valentino Rossi   Yamaha                 + 1m16.368s
13. Aleix Espargaro   Aspar Aprilia          + 1m24.200s
14. Danilo Petrucci   Ioda-Suter-BMW         + 1m25.726s
15. Karel Abraham     Cardion Aprilia        + 1m32.111s
16. Colin Edwards     Forward FTR-Kawasaki   + 1m40.602s
17. Michael Laverty   Paul Bird PBM-Aprilia  + 1 lap
18. Hiroshi Aoyama    Avintia FTR-Kawasaki   + 1 lap
19. Hector Barbera    Avintia FTR-Kawasaki   + 1 lap

Retirements:

    Yonny Hernandez   Paul Bird Aprilia        8 laps
    Randy de Puniet   Aspar Aprilia            13 laps
    Lukas Pesek       Ioda-Suter-BMW           13 laps
    Claudio Corti     Forward FTR-Kawasaki     21 laps
    Bryan Staring     Gresini FTR-Honda        27 laps

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