Bagnaia forced to retire from #FrenchGP after a crash, Petrucci finishes in 11th
The French GP, the fifth round of the 2023 MotoGP season held this afternoon at the Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans, had an unfortunate ending for Francesco Bagnaia.
After starting from the pole position, the Ducati Lenovo Team rider was in third when Viñales overtook him during Lap 5. Bagnaia tried to respond immediately, but in the exchange of direction, the two riders crossed their trajectories, resulting in a contact that made them crash. Despite his retirement from today’s race, Bagnaia remains at the top of the overall standings with a one-point lead over Marco Bezzecchi (VR46 Racing Team), winner of the French GP. Closing in second and third, respectively, were the two Desmosedici GPs of Jorge Martin and Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing), who completed an all-Ducati podium. On the other hand, Danilo Petrucci, Enea Bastianini’s replacement in this race, missed out on the top ten for just one position as he closed the race in 11th place.
After the French GP, MotoGP will now have a three-week break before returning to Mugello from 9th-11th June for the Italian GP. It will be a special event for the Ducati Lenovo Team, which will face its first home round this year, counting on the warmth and cheering of all the Ducatisti present at the circuit.
Danilo Petrucci (#9, Ducati Lenovo Team) – 11th
Riding the bike on Friday and learning everything quickly was not easy, but I had a great team by my side that helped me so much. Being able to race this Grand Prix was like a dream: I relived a big chapter of my life, and being here was a great gift from Ducati. Today’s race was tough: the track was very slippery, and there were a lot of crashes. We got some points, and I am happy about that. I thank all the guys for their great work and Ducati for allowing me to experience this exciting weekend.
Francesco Bagnaia (#1, Ducati Lenovo Team) – Retired
It was an unfortunate circumstance, a race incident that perhaps we could have avoided if Maverick had closed his line less and I had left more room to enter, but in any case, these are things that can happen. We met with the stewards, which was a positive meeting that will allow us to improve in the future. Today we were fast, and at that moment, I was waiting for the right moment to attack and then push, but unfortunately, it went like that, and I am sorry. Now we have three weeks before the next race in Mugello, a crucial appointment on a circuit where we won a beautiful GP last year.