Spain’s Jorge Lorenzo, on a Yamaha, won the French Grand Prix, the third race of the season, here on Sunday to cement his lead in the MotoGP championship.
Lorenzo’s teammate, world champion and pole sitter Valentino Rossi, took second with Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso grabbing third at the historic Bugatti circuit.
Lorenzo, who set off from second place on the grid, completed the race in a time of 44 minutes 29,114 seconds to comfortably hold off Rossi, the Italian coming in almost six seconds behind.
The win moved Lorenzo, who was adding this to his success in the second leg of the fledgling 2010 season on home tarmac in Spain, up to 70 points, with Rossi, who took the opening race in Qatar, now
nine points adrift.
Rossi had celebrated his team Inter Milan’s Champions League triumph over Bayern Munich on Saturday night but was unable to make his presence on pole pay at a circuit where last year he had trailed in 16th.
The flamboyant reigning champion got off to a flying start in scorching sunshine, leading into the first turn ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Lorenzo.
Lorenzo quickly moved into second and set his sights on Rossi.
Behind this pair on lap two Casey Stoner slid out of contention at turn six, the Australian failing to complete for the second time this year.
Lorenzo shot into the lead on lap seven only for Rossi to nip back in front, but the Italian was unable to produce a similar reply when Lorenzo went back in front again on lap 10.
He never looked like relinquishing the advantage, ultimately crossing the line 5,672s up on Rossi, with Dovizioso forcing his way into third on the final lap.
Earlier Spain’s Toni Elias, riding a Moriwaki, won the Moto2 race ahead of compatriot Julian Simon (Suter), with Italy’s Simone Corsi (Motobi) in third.
Pol Espargaro completed a great day for the Spanish when he rode his Derbi, to victory in the 125cc division, beating compatriots Nicolas Terol (Aprilia) and Marc Marquez (Derbi). – AFP