Viñales was strong right from the beginning of the 28-lap French round. Starting from pole, he flew off the line to take the holeshot and slotted into second as he dived into turn 3, behind Johann Zarco. Reigning Champion Marc Marquez got off to a good start in fourth, while Pedrosa zoomed off the grid in seventh. Rossi was right behind Marquez in fifth at the early stage and quickly dispatched the Repsol Honda in a matter of few turns.
With 22 laps Viñales overtook Zarco for the lead. As soon as he cleared, the Yamaha ace simply wont be denied… Pedrosa had a scrap with Crutchlow and by lap 10, the Repsol Honda man overtook the LCR Honda and had closed up on Marquez in fourth. However, Marquez would crash out from fourth, having lost the front end of the bike.
Vinales would get a bit of a challenge from Rossi in the final stint of the race, but number 25 rider held firm. With five laps to go, Rossi overtook Zarco for second place, making it a perfect Yamaha 1-2. There was a battle between the two Yamahas for a moment
Zarco, meanwhile, held his own in third position. In the last lap, Vinales was leading when the Doctor crashed out of the race unexpectedly. With Rossi out, Vinales had a clear path to the flag, with Zarco and Pedrosa both moving up a position.
Viñales’ first place earns him 25 points. This puts him on 85 points and in the lead in the championship standings, 23 points ahead of Rossi in third place. The 500th Grand Prix win also sees the Yamaha squad hold the lead in the team standings by 21 points, with a total of 147 points, whilst Yamaha remains the top manufacturer in the Constructor’s Championship by a 13 point margin, with 108 points.
Ducati riders Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo were fourth and sixth at the finish. Dovizioso was able to take a place up on Crutchlow in the final two laps and gained another spot when Rossi crashed out of the race. Lorenzo, meanwhile, made a bold recovery to finish the race in sixth, having started from sixteenth on grid.
The MotoGP paddock will next hit the Gran Premio d’Italia at the Autodromo del Mugello in two weeks” time.
2017 MotoGP GP of France Le Mans results
1 VINALES Maverick 25 SPA 25 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 43’29.793
2 ZARCO Johann 5 FRA 20 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 3.134
3 PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA 16 Repsol Honda Team Honda 7.717
4 DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA 13 Ducati Team Ducati 11.223
5 CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR 11 LCR Honda Honda 13.519
6 LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA 10 Ducati Team Ducati 24.002
7 FOLGER Jonas 94 GER 9 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 25.733
8 MILLER Jack 43 AUS 8 Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 32.603
9 BAZ Loris 76 FRA 7 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 45.784
10 IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA 6 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 48.332
11 RABAT Tito 53 SPA 5 Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 50.036
12 ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA 4 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 52.661
13 SMITH Bradley 38 GBR 3 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 53.179
14 LOWES Sam 22 GBR 2 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 55.432
15 GUINTOLI Sylvain 50 FRA 1 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1’06.878
1 VINALES Maverick 25 SPA 85 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha
2 PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA 68 Repsol Honda Team Honda
3 ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA 62 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha
4 MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA 58 Repsol Honda Team Honda
5 ZARCO Johann 5 FRA 55 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha
6 DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA 54 Ducati Team Ducati
7 CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR 40 LCR Honda Honda
8 LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA 38 Ducati Team Ducati
9 FOLGER Jonas 94 GER 38 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha
10 MILLER Jack 43 AUS 29 Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda
11 PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA 26 Octo Pramac Racing Ducati
12 REDDING Scott 45 GBR 26 Octo Pramac Racing Ducati
13 BAZ Loris 76 FRA 19 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati
14 ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA 17 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
15 IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA 15 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki
16 BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA 14 Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati
17 RABAT Tito 53 SPA 13 Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda
18 BARBERA Hector 8 SPA 12 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati
19 ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE 9