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29 days ago
By motogp.com

Imperious Mir conquers Le Mans as drama hits Moto3™

Championship leader extends his advantage in incident-filled French GP

Championship leader Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) took an imperious win in the French GP, extending his points lead once again in a race marred by drama, and the first start red-flagged and then restarted. Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) completed the podium over four seconds back on the Mallorcan, pulling clear of a classic Moto3™ freight train to take the honours.

Polesitter Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) got a stunning launch in the original start before there was drama at the front with something down on track catching out almost half the field, creating a huge pile up into the gravel trap. The red flag came out and operation clean up began – with riders all given the ok and declared able to line up for the restart – and the grid headed back out for a shortened 16 lap race.

Off the line for the second time, Martin again got an incredible start to take off at the front, before Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) struck back to take over. The biggest loser off the line was Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46), who plummeted from second on the grid to outside the top twenty by the end of Lap 1.

Bulega had been one of those caught worst in the initial incident, as well as Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo), who then slid off – before a highside crash for Martin took the polesitter out of the hunt. Albert Arenas (Aspar Mahindra Moto3) then also suffered a crash, with some of those highest on the grid falling out of contention early on.

Fenati was out front trying to pull away from Championship rival Mir in second, before drama struck again and the Italian suddenly found himself sliding out at Turn 7 – leaving Mir out front and clear by over two seconds; an advantage that would only grow as the laps ticked on.

The chasers battled it out behind, with the deficit to Mir untouchable. The Platinum Bay Real Estate duo of Marcos Ramirez and Darryn Binder followed up their impressive races in Jerez again in Le Mans to get in the thick of it at the front, with Canet, Di Giannantonio, Juanfran Guevara (RBA BOE Racing Team), Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Jules Danilo (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers), wildcard Danny Kent (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Jakub Kornfeil (Peugeot MC Saxoprint) on the chase – as Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and John McPhee (British Talent Team) pushed on to catch the group.

Over the line Canet moved to the front of the group to cross the line cleanly ahead of Di Giannantonio, with Ramirez taking another P4 to equal his career best from Jerez. Teammate Darryn Binder crashed out late on – but again showed impressive pace in an impressive race for the team.

Guevara took a career best in p5, ahead of a solid finish for Bastianini and an incredible showing at home for Frenchman Jules Danilo in seventh. Migno took eighth and Bo Bendsneyder beat wildcard new teammate Danny Kent to ninth, with the 2015 Moto3™ World Champion completing the top ten.

Kornfeil took a solid points finish for the Peugeot MC Saxoprint squad in P11, ahead of an impressive comeback for BTT rider McPhee from outside the top twenty on the grid. Nakarin Atiratphuvapat (Honda Team Asia) scored his first points in P13, as Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Aspar Mahindra Moto3) scored for Mahindra for the first time. Marco Bezzecchi (CIP) completed the top fifteen after a solid weekend.

For full results, click here!

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