French GP: Miller shines and Quartararo reclaims the championship lead

Ducati’s Jack Miller has taken his second consecutive win of the season at the French GP this Sunday. The Australian pilot, who won in Spain too had an immaculate run on both the wet and dry parts of the race at the Circuit of Le Mans, snatching his third victory in the premier class.  

Behind the Aussie, who has ruled with ease over his rivals at the slippery French track, came local heroes Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) and Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha). Pecco’ Bagnania,leader of the standings until today, also captivated the audience with a superhuman comeback from his sixteenth starting place to fourth. 

As forecasted, the French round was marked by the changing weather conditions. The race started on the dry but with a thick and dark cloud cover above. A couple of laps into it and it started to rain triggering the first ‘flag to flag’ GP since 2017. From that moment on anyone who wished to do so could go to boxes to change his bike.

Miller showcased his skills on the wet as the asphalt turned slippery as an ice rink. No one could rival his pace and after taking the lead on the 16th lap he flew to glory unrivalled. Neither the two sanctions that he was handed nor the fact that later into the race the asphalt began to dry out, were able to stop the Australian. 

Quartararo, winner in Doha & Portugal was the other great success of the French GP. After having undergone a surgical procedure on his arm less than two weeks ago, ‘El Diablo’ has now reclaimed the lead of the World Championship with 89 points, one more than Bagnaia. Pecco also had his moment of glory in the French country thanks to a staggering twelve-place comeback.

Another notable performance has been that of Zarco, who has taken his third podium of the season and ascended to third in the standings at just 12 units from the leader. Behind him in fourth is now Miller.

His very bad start of the season has now been completely forgotten thanks to his two consecutive wins (Jerez and Le Mans), which have brought back the lost pride to his team. At the moment Miller is asserting himself as one of the most competitive pilots on the grid. 

As for the ‘Spanish Armada’, their performance has been nothing short of a shipwreck. For the first time in a long time, none of the Spanish runners has uncorked the champagne. Honda´s riders Pol Espargaró & Marc Márquez had to abandon after falling twice (without any harm to himself) as did both the Suzukis. In one of his unluckiest streaks so far, Álex Rins has scored no points for the third race in a row and Joan Mir has followed a similar fate. 

Maverick Viñales also disappointed. He started in a privileged second place, only to sink back in the rain to ninth in the end behind a great Íker Lecuona (KTM). The disaster has been such for the Spaniards that the best classified of them all, Álex Márquez, finished in sixth place, starting from 19th. 

This has been the second consecutive 1-2 for the red bullets after Jerez, a great feat considering that those two tracks are not the most suited to their characteristics. Mugello, on the other hand, the next stop on the MotoGP calendar, is historically a lot more favourable to the Ducatis.

As in previous rounds, the Championship remains very competitive with no pilot standing out over the rest and with a large group of favourites, and potential winners. Suffices to say that today we have witnessed the fifth change of leader in as many races. 

The Premier Class could not be any more exciting. Meanwhile, the man who dominated MotoGP for several years, Marc Márquez, continues to make ground in his recovery after a nine-month convalescence.

Images of French GP: Ducati Corse.

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