MotoGP: Petrucci wins French GP as Alex Marquez takes maiden podium

MotoGP: Petrucci wins French GP as Alex Marquez takes maiden podium

12th Oct 2020 6:49 pm

Repsol Honda's Alex Marquez finished 2nd, followed by Red Bull Factory KTM's Pol Espargaro.

The 2020 French GP served plenty of thrills and ultimately it was Danilo Petrucci, on the Factory Ducati, who emerged victorious in wet conditions. Repsol Honda’s Alex Marquez put up a fine display to clinch his maiden podium finish, while KTM’s Pol Espargaro took the final spot on the podium.

  • Petrucci is the seventh different MotoGP race winner this season
  • Alex Marquez clinches maiden podium; goes from 18th to 2nd 
  • Quartararo holds on to 2020 MotoGP championship lead

Drama before the French GP start

As the riders began to line up on the grid, the tension in the air was palpable. Hovering over the circuit were ominous dark clouds and it looked like rain was imminent. With a few minutes to go before the start, the heavens opened and the race start was called off to allow teams to set the bikes up for a wet race. The QuickStart procedure was announced and the race distance chopped to 26 laps. A flag-to-flag race was declared, allowing riders to swap bikes in the pits for slicks, in case the track dried out during the course of the race.

Valentino Rossi crashes out 

As the lights went out, Jack Miller made a brilliant start and moved to the head of the field, going into the first corner. Behind him, however, the first of many incidents in the race took place as Valentino Rossi hit the deck. It appeared that the Italian lost the rear at the exit of the corner, and was lucky that Joan Mir didn't end up running his Suzuki over him.

Desmo Power

With Jack Miller pulling away, Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso on the Factory Ducatis made light work of passing Petronas Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo. From then on, the Desmo trio began pulling away from the rest of the field, despite the tricky conditions.

Rins' attack

With the halfway mark approaching, Rins began closing in on the Ducatis ahead, setting a string of fastest laps in the process.  He then pounced on Miller but could not make the move stick, losing the place he'd gained a moment ago. The duo exchanged positions again on the next lap, with Miller retaking the position on account of the sheer speed of his Pramac Ducati. 

While Rins and Miller were scraping it out, Dovizioso moved into the lead of the race. A few corners later, Rins made a daring move into Turn 9, forcing Dovizioso to run wide, giving Petrucci the lead. Rins moved up into 2nd but Dovizioso was the worst affected, falling to 4th, behind Miller.

Miller and Rins retire

On the next lap, Miller's Ducati suffered a mechanical issue, forcing the Aussie to retire from a strong podium position. Understandably, he was livid as he entered the Pramac garage, furious about the cruel twist of fate. Rins too faced an unfortunate end to his race, crashing out at Turn 3.

Alex Marquez goes from 18th to 2nd

Meanwhile, Alex Marquez, who was setting fastest lap after fastest lap on his Repsol Honda, closed in on the Ducati of Dovizioso. After sticking behind the Italian for a few corners, the Spaniard made his move, making the most of Dovizioso's tyre woes. KTM's Pol Espargaro also capitalised on the struggles of the Duacti and locked out the podium in 3rd place.

Alex Marquez was clearly in his element, and this was his best MotoGP performance to date as he rose from P18 to finish the Race in P2. Danilo Petruci was also quite ecstatic after bagging his first win in this unpredictable 2020 MotoGP season.

2020 MotoGP riders’ championship standings

The 2020 MotoGP World Championship is still wide open and judging by the unpredictability of the races, who'll win the championship is anybody's guess.

Despite losing out on the podium by a mile, 2020 Catalan GP winner, Fabio Quartararo still leads the championship, with 115 points. Joan Mir is second with 105 points followed by Andrea Dovizioso at 97 points.

The next round will be held at Motorland Aragon, Spain on October 18, 2020. 

Results:

POS

RIDER

TEAM

GAP

1

Danilo Petrucci

Ducati

45m54.736s

2

Alex Marquez

Honda

1.273

3

Pol Espargaro

KTM

1.711

4

Andrea Dovizioso

Ducati

3.911

5

Johann Zarco

Avintia Ducati

4.310

6

Miguel Oliveira

Tech3 KTM

4.466

7

Takaaki Nakagami

LCR Honda

5.921

8

Stefan Bradl

Honda

15.597

9

Fabio Quartararo

Petronas Yamaha

16.687

10

Maverick Vinales

Yamaha

16.895

11

Joan Mir

Suzuki

16.980

12

Brad Binder

KTM

27.321

13

Francesco Bagnaia

Pramac Ducati

33.351

14

Aleix Espargaro

Aprilia

39.176

15

Iker Lecuona

Tech3 KTM

51.087

16

Alex Rins

Suzuki

1m14.190s

-

Jack Miller

Pramac Ducati

DNF

-

Franco Morbidelli

Petronas Yamaha

DNF

-

Cal Crutchlow

LCR Honda

DNF

-

Tito Rabat

Avintia Ducati

DNF

-

Bradley Smith

Aprilia

DNF

-

Valentino Rossi

Yamaha

DNF

 
Also see:

MotoGP: Rossi confirmed to join Petronas Yamaha SRT

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