Eventful 2023 French GP marks 1,000th MotoGP Race with Frenchman on Podium
The 2023 French GP proved to be a thrilling and eventful race, filled with racing incidents, tyre pressure-related challenges, and a notable podium finish for a French rider. This race also marked a significant milestone as the 1,000th MotoGP race since the series’ inception in 1949.
Despite starting from the third row and receiving a penalty for a clash with Marc Marquez, Bezzecchi showcased impressive resilience, taking the lead and maintaining it throughout the race.
One of the standout performances came from rookie Augusto Fernandez, the 2022 Moto2 World Champion, who finished an impressive fourth, ahead of Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia. Fernandez demonstrated remarkable skill by keeping pace with experienced riders such as Brad Binder and Johann Zarco, securing the highest finishing position for KTM in this race.
While Jack Miller led the race for a significant portion of the first half, he encountered difficulties with tyre pressure on the soft front tyre, leading to a drop in positions and ultimately crashing out while running in seventh. Brad Binder, who secured second place in the Sprint race, faced an early setback as he was pushed wide on the first lap but persevered through the field to finish sixth.
In a fierce battle with Francesco Bagnaia, Bezzecchi, Jorge Martin, and Johann Zarco, Marc Marquez unfortunately crashed out while contending for a podium finish in the closing stages of the race. Other Honda riders, including 2020 World Champion Joan Mir and Alex Rins, also suffered crashes, leaving Takaaki Nakagami as the sole Honda finisher in ninth place.
Taking advantage of Marquez’s crash, Johann Zarco claimed the final spot on the podium, bringing delight to the home crowd. Meanwhile, Fabio Quartararo, the local favorite, crossed the finish line in seventh, with his teammate Franco Morbidelli securing a respectable 10th-place finish.
The 2023 French GP witnessed two separate incidents that resulted in four high-profile riders crashing out. Francesco Bagnaia and Maverick Vinales were involved in a racing incident, while Luca Marini and Alex Marquez were entangled, eliminating all four riders from contention.
In the championship standings, Bezzecchi now sits just one point behind current leader Francesco Bagnaia. The MotoGP season will resume after nearly a month-long break, with the next race scheduled to take place on June 11 at the iconic Mugello circuit in Italy.