French MotoGP 2022: Bastianini shines in Le Mans before Miller and Espargaró   

Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) has produced a faultless performance at the French MotoGP 2022 this Sunday in Le Mans. Jack Miller (Ducati) finished almost three seconds behind the phenomenal Italian pilot. Aleix Espargaró, for his part, didn’t give in to the mounting pressure from local hero Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) during the final laps and went on to claim his fourth podium of the last five races. 

‘El Diablo’ has managed to retain his lead of the standings despite not being able to claim his first home victory. He now commands the table with 102 points, four more than Espargaró (98) and eight more than Bastianini (94). 

The brightest star of the day, however, has been the latter with his third win after Qatar GP & United States. Crouching at the rear, Bastianini has managed to save his tires while he waited for the right moment to mount his attack. He finally hit Pecco Bagnaia with seven laps to go. 

On the other hand, the rider from Turín was a disappointment to fans. Unable to contain the hurricane from Rimini, he hit the floor after the latter passed him at a critical moment. Unfortunately, the progression of the world runner-up has now been cut short after his win in Spain

Miller is off to a brilliant start 

At the start of the French GP, Miller overtook his pole-holder teammate Bagnaia for the lead. At the same time, Rins and Bastianini gave a supersonic start climbing from eighth to third and sixth to fourth respectively. Aleix Espargaró, on the contrary, fell from third to fifth, one place ahead of Quartararo.

The Frenchman dropped from fourth to eight place as he stayed clear of the initial battles. After Rins crashed on the second lap, Bagnaia passed Miller on the third. The Italian had managed to raise his pace and catch up with his Australian teammate. 

Little by little, the two official Desmosedici opened some ground ahead, with Bastianini following behind. The leading trio was running with a 1.2-second gap with 19 laps to go to the finish line. A few meters behind, Mir was bidding his time. 

Knowing the time had come to spring into action, ‘The Beast’ devoured Miller with 16 laps left to the checkered flag. Until then he had been rolling calmly, keeping his tires on the Aussie’s slipstream. Now, when he was half a second behind, he had to prevent his Ducati teammate from escaping. Mir, Espargaró and Quartararo followed Miller, third. 

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Bastianini mounts his fiery attack  

At the top, Bagnaia and Bastianini were now running a few meters apart. The Italian duel was about to start. As for the World Championship leaders, Fabio was still fifth and Aleix, fourth. The defining moment of the French GP came seven laps before the end.

With a clean and elegant move, Bastianini moved past Bagnaia into the Dunlop corner. The current world runner-up, however, replicated the move on his compatriot moments later but the Turinese pilot made another mistake and lost the head of the race once more. Moments later, disaster would strike for #63 as he fell to the ground while trying to keep up with Bastianini. 

Aleix then inherited third place ahead of Quartararo. Bastianini was able to cruise through the final five laps opening up 2.8s with Miller, second. Cheered on by the public, Quartararo unsuccessfully tried to overtake Espargaró, who took his third consecutive podium in as many appointments. 

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Images of French MotoGP 2022:  Gresini Racing,

 

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