Marco Bezzecchi, winner at Le Mans, confirms the Italian domination in speed motorcycling
Italian Marco Bezzecchi won the French Grand Prix at Le Mans on May 14, 2023….
Held on the Bugatti Le Mans circuit, the French Grand Prix confirmed Italy’s domination in speed motorcycling. It’s good Fratelli d’Italiathe transalpine national anthem, which resounded, Sunday May 14, before There Marseillaiseand the winners slashed the prosecco rather than the champagne.
Contested under a blazing sun, the event kept its promises. At the end of a race full of twists and turns, the Italian Marco Bezzecchi won ahead of the two riders from the transalpine Ducati-Pramac team, the Spaniard Jorge Martin and the Frenchman Johann Zarco. This is the second success of the year for the rider of the Ducati-VR46 team, managed by former champion Valentino Rossi.
With three Ducati on the podium, the weekend was positive for the manufacturer from Bologna, even if Francesco Bagnaia, its official rider, crashed on Sunday. But the reigning world champion retains the lead in the championship with a point ahead of the winner of the day.
Eight falls marked the race, which was particularly spectacular. On the fifth lap, Francesco Bagnaia and Maverick Vinales collided, and nearly came to blows in the gravel. A few seconds later, Luca Marini and Alex Marquez imitated them, leaving the field open to Bezzecchi, who took the lead of the race on lap eleven and never let go.
Behind him, the mano a mano between two Spaniards, the veteran Marc Marquez and the young prodigy Jorge Martin, offered a great spectacle. Taking all the risks, the six-time world champion, who was returning from injury, has long flirted with the limits of his Honda, slower than the Ducati-Pramac.
Italian Marco Bezzecchi, winner of the French Grand Prix at Le Mans, between Spaniard Jorge Martin (left) and Frenchman Johann Zarco (right), May 14, 2023. JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP
His crash in the penultimate lap allowed the regional of the stage, Johann Zarco, to climb on the podium, to the delight of the 117,000 spectators of the Bugatti circuit. The thousandth Grand Prix in history, the only French stage of the twenty meetings on the calendar, was the great popular celebration for motorcycle lovers in France. “To be on the podium here, at the Grand Prix de France, for the thousandth Grand Prix, is a great honor and I am very proud today”said the native of Cannes on arrival.
The weekend was also satisfactory for the only French team on the grid, Gasgas Tech 3, which scored points in the world championship thanks to the fourth place of the Spaniard Augusto Fernandez.
If he was never able to join the fight for the podium, Fabio Quartararo limited the damage by finishing seventh. A lesser evil for the 2021 world champion, whose weekend was trying. Suffering from a painful arm, only thirteenth on the starting grid, the Niçois fell on Saturday. He nevertheless scored nine points in the world championship and moved up to ninth place in the standings, 45 behind the leader.
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