Dani Pedrosa took the honours in a wet French MotoGP at Le Mans
Dani Pedrosa took control of the MotoGP championship with victory at the French GP at Le Mans on Sunday.
Last Updated: 19/05/13 5:18pm
Dani Pedrosa took control of the MotoGP championship with victory at the French GP as Cal Crutchlow scored his best result in motorcycling's premier class.
Pedrosa followed up his win on home tarmac in Spain last time out with a confident race in wet conditions at Le Mans with Crutchlow coming home second ahead of rookie sensation Marc Marquez.
Marquez started on pole but struggled on the slippery Bugatti circuit in the early stages, with Andrea Dovizioso hitting the front at the first corner.
But the Italian did not have the power to pull away from the rest of the field on his Ducati and as the pack closed up behind him it set the stage for what promised to be an interesting race.
Dovizioso was holding up Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo which allowed Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi, the fastest riders on the track at the time, to move into contention.
Pedrosa was forced to bide his time before seizing his chance to take the lead midway through the race while mistakes from Lorenzo and Rossi saw them slip down the field.
Crutchlow also had to be patient before making his move on Dovizioso and by the time he moved his Tech 3 Yamaha into second place it was too late for him to mount any real challenge on Lorenzo for the lead.
But the Briton will be delighted with another podium finish while Marquez showed great tenacity to pick his way through the field from eighth to finish on the third step.
Pedrosa now leads Repsol Honda team-mate Marquez by six points while Lorenzo remains third on 66 points, 11 points adrift of Marquez, after his disappointing seventh on Sunday.
"It was a very good race for me," said Pedrosa after his first MotoGP win at the Le Mans circuit.
"I'm so happy with this one because I lost some position sliding at the start but recovered at the first turn."
Seventh was Lorenzo's worst finish since his maiden MotoGP campaign in 2008.
"At the beginning of the race the bike was not the same as in the warm-up, but not so bad, and I could follow Andrea (Dovizioso) and Dani (Pedrosa)," Lorenzo said.
"I was losing a lot in some areas of the track but recovering in others. Then after three or four laps the bike got worse and I got problems everywhere."