French MotoGP: Bastianini wins again, Bagnaia crashes out

Gresini’s Enea Bastianini stormed to his third win of the 2022 MotoGP season in a dramatic French Grand Prix after long-time leader Francesco Bagnaia crashed.

French MotoGP: Bastianini wins again, Bagnaia crashes out
Listen to this article

The Gresini Ducati rider looked poised to duke it out for victory at Le Mans with factory counterpart Bagnaia as the pair emerged with the strongest pace late on. 

But a crash for Bagnaia with seven laps remaining gifted Bastianini a win that has thrust him back into championship contention after a tough recent run of races. 

Jack Miller got the holeshot off the line from second on the grid, with Bastianini moving into second ahead of a fast-starting Alex Rins. 

Poleman Bagnaia quickly regained third from Rins, while home hero Fabio Quartararo went backwards from fourth on the grid on his Yamaha – the world champion dropping back to eighth. 

Quartararo’s afternoon almost ended in disaster at the end of the opening lap when he scythed past LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami into Turn 11. 

Nakagami retaliated into the next turn and forced Quartararo out wide, with Marc Marquez on the factory Honda seizing the opportunity to snatch sixth from the pair of them – Quartararo almost coming into contact with the Spaniard. 

A mistake for Nakagami up at the Dunlop chicane moments later, however, allowed Quartararo back into seventh, and he would get ahead of Marquez on the fourth lap. 

At the front, both Bagnaia and Rins were able to get ahead of Bastianini going onto the second lap, though the Suzuki rider’s race would only last until the third lap when he ran off at the fast Turn 2 right-hander and crashed when he bounced back onto the circuit at the Dunlop chicane. 

Miller and Bagnaia pulled away by around a second at the start of the fourth tour, with Bagnaia taking the lead from his Ducati teammate into Turn 6 when the Australian ran wide on lap four. 

Miller’s pace would continue to fade as Bastianini came through on lap 12 into Turn 8, with the Gresini rider setting off on his chase for his third win of the season. 

Behind, Joan Mir on the sole-remaining Suzuki was up into the podium battle and was closing down Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro for third when he crashed on lap 15 to compound a disastrous weekend for Suzuki in light of its decision to quit MotoGP at the end of 2022. 

Bastianini hounded Bagnaia in the latter stages of the race and made his move for the lead into the Dunlop chicane on lap 21 of 27. 

But the Gresini rider ran slightly wide into Turn 6 and let Bagnaia back through before it all unravelled for the factory Ducati man. 

Bagnaia ran in too hot into Turn 8 and allowed Bastianini into an easy lead, before the poleman crashed out at the penultimate corner just moments later. 

This put Bastianini over three seconds clear of Miller as he cruised to the chequered flag to claim another win on the 2021-spec Ducati. 

Miller ended up 2.7s adrift in second, while Bagnaia’s crash offered home hero Quartararo and opportunity to salvage a podium at Le Mans. 

But Aprilia’s Espargaro put up a formidable defence that allowed him to claim his third-straight podium and shrink Quartararo’s points lead to just four heading to the Italian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time. 

Johann Zarco was fifth, 6.8s behind his countryman Quartararo, on his Pramac Ducati after getting the better of Honda’s Marc Marquez – the six-time world champon struggling to sixth. 

Nakagami was seventh in the end ahead of the only KTM to make to the finish in Brad Binder, with teammate Miguel Oliveira and Tech 3 duo Raul Fernandez and Remy Gardner all crashing out. 

Luca Marini was a strong ninth on his VR46 Ducati ahead of Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales, with Pol Espargaro unlucky to finish in 11th on his Honda after he was forced to take avoiding action of Oliveira’s crashed motorcycle. 

The final points went to VR46 and Gresini rookies Marco Bezzecchi and Fabio Di Giannantonio, LCR’s Alex Marquez and Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli – who managed to run off track on his way to the grid prior to the race. 

Andrea Dovizioso and Darryn Binder on the RNF Yamahas were the last across the line, the latter almost one minute off the victory. 

Pramac’s Jorge Martin also failed to make the finish, as he tumbled out of 11th in the latter stages. 

MotoGP French GP - Race results:

Cla Rider Bike Time Gap Interval
1 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati -    
2 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 2.718 2.718 2.718
3 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 4.182 4.182 1.464
4 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 4.288 4.288 0.106
5 France Johann Zarco Ducati 11.139 11.139 6.851
6 Spain Marc Marquez Honda 15.155 15.155 4.016
7 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 16.680 16.680 1.525
8 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 18.459 18.459 1.779
9 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 20.541 20.541 2.082
10 Spain Maverick Viñales Aprilia 21.486 21.486 0.945
11 Spain Pol Espargaro Honda 22.707 22.707 1.221
12 Italy Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 23.408 23.408 0.701
13 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati 26.432 26.432 3.024
14 Spain Alex Marquez Honda 28.710 28.710 2.278
15 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 29.433 29.433 0.723
16 Italy Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 38.149 38.149 8.716
17 South Africa Darryn Binder Yamaha 59.748 59.748 21.599
  Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM      
  Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati      
  Spain Jorge Martin Ducati      
  Spain Joan Mir Suzuki      
  Spain Raúl Fernández KTM      
  Spain Alex Rins Suzuki      
  Australia Remy Gardner KTM      
shares
comments
MotoGP riders “merit” base salaries given dangers, says leading manager
Previous article

MotoGP riders “merit” base salaries given dangers, says leading manager

Next article

French GP 2022: Lap by lap visualization

French GP 2022: Lap by lap visualization
The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him Prime

The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him

Prior to the summer break, the 2022 MotoGP title looked like it was Fabio Quartararo’s to lose. But a crash at Assen and the consequential penalty he had to serve last weekend at Silverstone stopped him from capitalising on a main rival’s injury woes, while a resurgence from another, plus the rise of a former teammate, look set to conspire against the Yamaha rider.

Why Andrea Dovizioso is leaving MotoGP at the right time Prime

Why Andrea Dovizioso is leaving MotoGP at the right time

On the eve of the British Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso announced that he will be retiring from MotoGP after September’s San Marino GP. The timing of his departure raised eyebrows, but his reasoning remains sensible and what has happened this year should not diminish a hard-built legacy.

MotoGP
Aug 6, 2022
Why Alex Rins feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge Prime

Why Alex Rins feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge

Alex Rins’ MotoGP future was plunged into sudden doubt when Suzuki elected to quit the series at the end of 2022. Securing a deal with Honda to join LCR, he will now tread a path that many have fallen off from. But it was a move he felt his status deserved, and it’s a challenge – he tells Motorsport.com - he faces with his eyes wide open…

MotoGP
Jul 27, 2022
How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature Prime

How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature

The hiring of technicians from Formula 1 has clearly contributed to a recent change in the MotoGP landscape, with the role of engineers gaining greater significance relative to the riders. Here's how this shift has come about.

MotoGP
Jul 19, 2022
The battle Yamaha's wayward son is fighting to be fast again in MotoGP Prime

The battle Yamaha's wayward son is fighting to be fast again in MotoGP

Franco Morbidelli was long overdue a promotion to factory machinery when it finally came late last year, having finished runner-up in the 2020 standings on an old Yamaha package. But since then the Italian has been a shadow of his former self as he toils to adapt to the 2022 M1, and recognises that he needs to change his style to be quick on it

MotoGP
Jul 13, 2022
Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era Prime

Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era

OPINION: The once all-conquering Japanese manufacturers are going through a difficult period in MotoGP this season. With Suzuki quitting, Honda struggling to get near the podium and Yamaha only enjoying success courtesy of Fabio Quartararo, Japanese manufacturers have been left in the dust by their European counterparts. This is why.

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2022
How in-form Quartararo is evoking Marquez in MotoGP 2022 Prime

How in-form Quartararo is evoking Marquez in MotoGP 2022

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo has seized control of the 2022 MotoGP world standings after another dominant victory as his nearest rivals faltered. And he is very much heading towards a second championship echoing how the dominator of the last decade achieved much of his success.

MotoGP
Jun 20, 2022
Why Marquez's surgery is about more than just chasing on-track success Prime

Why Marquez's surgery is about more than just chasing on-track success

OPINION: Marc Marquez will likely sit out the remainder of the 2022 MotoGP season to undergo a fourth major operation on the right arm he badly broke in 2020. It is hoped it will return him to his brilliant best after a tough start to the season without a podium to his name. But it’s the human victory that will far outweigh any future on-track success he may go on to have

MotoGP
May 31, 2022