A WET and wild French MotoGP produced more magic and yes, yet another different winner – the 7th in the 10 rounds run so far.
Italy’s Danilo Petrucci, on a Ducati, took the chequered flag at the end of 27 laps of the 4.1km Bugatti circuit within the Le Mans complex to score his first win of the 2020 season and the second of his career.
He led home Spaniards Alex Marquez (Honda) and KTM’s Pol Espargaro.
The start was delayed because of very wet conditions and when it got underway Australia’s Jack Miller, who started from second of the grid on his Pramac Ducati, shot to the lead.
However, Petrucci soon found a way past, as did teammate Andrea Dovisioso, with Fabio Quartararo on the Petronas Yamaha 4th — but he came under pressure from the pack as he struggled to cope with adverse weather in what was officially declared a Wet Race.
Also in in his first wet MotoGP race was South Africa’s Brad Binder (KTM) who won the Czech GP in August and Alex Marquez.
Championship leader Quartararo finished 9th, Binder 12th, but Marquez was quite at home skating around at blinding speed to grab 2nd.
Valentino Rossi took a tumble at the first corner, but Suzuki’s Alex Rins put in a spectacular run, carving through the field to catch the leaders and was on the tail of Miller when the intensity of their battle caused them to both miss their braking point.
Next, Miller’s bike suffered engine failure, and Rins fell in the chicane.
Fellow Spaniard Joan Mir had a quite amazing mishap during the qualifying session, coming off his Suzuki Ecstar in a corner at high speed.
The bike went one way, but Mir slid along gracefully and somehow became upright the moment his feet touched the gravel and was able to break into a sprint and stay on his feet.
It’s worth a watch on YouTube.
Officials said it was the most miraculous recovery from a crash they’d ever seen.
Others to come down in the wet conditions included Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha), Cal Crutchlow (Honda), Aprilia’s Bradley Smith and Avintia’s Tito Rabat.
In the closing laps Petrucci’s lead came down to 1.2s, but Dovizioso started to suffer from a lack of rear grip and was unable to stop Alex Marquez coming through.
So what had looked like a probable podium for three Ducatis, ended up as Ducati, Honda, KTM, making it much more interesting.
Rookie Marquez gave Honda its first podium of the 2020 season.