Just two weeks after the extraordinary success taken at Jerez de la Frontera, Jack Miller scored another sensational victory at the Bugatti Circuit of Le Mans, where the French Grand Prix took place this afternoon.
The Australian dominated a tough race that saw riders dealing with a bike swap following the “flag-to-flag” rule. As they started with dry conditions, the sky became soon clouded, and after only a few laps, it started pouring rain. On lap five, Miller, who was in fourth place after going straight into the gravel, returned to the pits to make the bike change but managing to rejoin in third place. However, the Ducati Lenovo Team rider had to serve a double long lap penalty for exceeding 60km/h in the pit lane. Jack remained third and, at lap 12, after Márquez crashed out, he overtook Quartararo, taking the lead where he stayed until the chequered flag, securing his second consecutive win this season. Behind him, home hero Johann Zarco finished second with the Ducati Desmosedici GP of the Pramac Racing Team.
A heroic effort in qualifying saw Quartararo head a Monster Energy Yamaha one-two on the grid but come race day a new challenge was ahead with dark clouds hanging ominously over the Le Mans Bugatti circuit. It was the YZR-M1 of Maverick Viñales who took the early advantage, leading in the early stages, but Quartararo was on a charge as he made his way into the lead on lap three. However, drama was ahead as the rain started to fall.
Deciding to pit for his first MotoGP flag-to-flag pit stop at the end of lap five, the Frenchman emerged back on track with the wet tyres fitted in second place. Quartararo returned to the lead on lap nine but was later penalised with a long lap penalty for stopping in Vinales’ pit box when swapping machines. Taking it like a champion, the 21-year-old completed the penalty cleanly and continued in second. Conditions would change yet again towards the end of the race with the track rapidly drying. Quartararo lost out on second to countryman Johan Zarco in the closing stages, crossing the line in third 14 seconds behind the winner.
“Winning two races in a row is a dream for me, especially after such a difficult race where I even had to take a double long lap and ended up in the gravel. So to be able to get this result is really extraordinary! The race was really long and tough mentally. I tried to keep my concentration and kept telling myself to stay calm. In this way, I managed the tyres well and saved them until the end, managing the advantage over Johann, who was getting very close towards the end. It was really a fantastic victory!”