Rain-man Petrucci wins French MotoGP, Quartararo retains championship lead
Danilo Petrucci sprang an “unbelievable” surprise to hold off rookie Alex Marquez and win the rain-hit French MotoGP at Le Mans yesterday. Home favourite Fabio Quartararo, supported by 5,000 fans allowed in to the Bugatti circuit under strict Covid-19 protocols, held onto the championship lead despite struggling from pole to take ninth. Petrucci, riding for Ducati, won for only the second time from 146 MotoGP's.
The 29-year-old was the seventh different winner of the nine races staged so far in this coronavirus-disrupted campaign. “Unbelievable! I can’t understand what I’ve just done” beamed the Italian who joins KTM’s Tech 3 team next season. “I’ve waited so long for this win. When the rain came I thought ‘it’s not possible’ but I’ve always been good in the wet.”
Quartararo may have failed in his bid to become the first Frenchman to win in the premier category on home soil since the championship was launched in 1949. But the 21-year-old Yamaha-SRT rider can take comfort from extending his lead by two points to 10 in the world title battle over Joan Mir, who came in 11th.