Jack Miller joined Fabio Quartararo as the second double MotoGP race winner in 2021 after taking a chaotic victory at Le Mans.

Miller mastered what can only be described as treacherous conditions as the race started on dry tyres before rain hit the Circuit de la Sarthe after four laps.

The Australian who used the Ducati’s holeshot devices after saying it was unlikely to be the case early in the weekend, took the lead off the start before Maverick Vinales got back ahead on lap two.

But as the rain hit, Vinales struggled and therefore slipped back down the order as team-mate Fabio Quartararo, Alex Rins and Marc Marquez all made their way past.

As riders approached pit lane on lap six, Marquez was easily the fastest man on track and went past Rins while Miller ran wide into the gravel – managing to stay aboard his Desmosedici machine.

Marquez entered the pits alongside race leader Quartararo but was able to come out in the lead after a brilliant bike swap.

Rins also managed to make his way past the Frenchman in pit lane, however, the Suzuki rider crashed immediately as he turned right at the Dunlop chicane.

This meant Marquez led from Quartararo as the eight-time world champion started to pull away from the Yamaha rider.

It was reminiscent of previous flag-to-flag races where Marquez went on to dominate, but that was not to be the case at Le Mans as he crashed in the final corner from the lead with a quarter of the race gone.

Miller was promoted to second following the crashes of Rins and Marquez, but just as he started to close the gap, the Ducati rider was given two long-lap penalties as did Francesco Bagnaia for speeding in the pits.

But with Miller having a clear speed advantage over Quartararo, the Jerez race winner still managed to close the gap and take the lead – a position he kept until the end.

Further back the drama continued to unfold as both Aprilia’s of Lorenzo Savadori and Aleix Espargaro suffered mechanical problems, while Rins and Marquez crashed again.

Other riders to crash included Franco Morbidelli on lap one as he needed to take avoiding action of Pol Espargaro who had a big moment in the third sector, while Joan Mir also crashed on lap six before he could make his way to pit lane on the dry tyres.

Just after mid race distance Zarco became the fastest rider on track as he got passed Takaaki Nakagami before hunting down the two men out front.

Zarco’s pace was unrelenting as he chipped off two seconds a lap from Quartararo ahead, before making his way past instantaneously after catching his fellow countryman with five laps remaining.

And while he was going quicker than Miller in the lead, the margin wasn’t sufficient enough for him to catch the 26 year-old.

The win for Miller is his third MotoGP career victory, while Zarco also took his third podium of the year.

Third place for Quartararo sees the Monster Energy Yamaha rider regain the championship lead, but only by one point as Bagnaia produced a great ride through the field to claim fourth after being 21st on lap one.

Danilo Petrucci got his and the Tech 3 KTM team’s best result of the year as he finished fifth. The Italian made a late move on Alex Marquez to claim that spot, while the Spaniard finished sixth which is also his best result of 2021 so far.

Nakagami was unable to hold onto his early race position of fourth, as he eventually finished in seventh, while the Repsol Honda of Espargaro was eighth, Iker Lecuona ninth and Vinales rounded out the top ten.

MotoGP race results: Round 5 at Le Mans

143Jack MILLERDucati Lenovo TeamDucati47’25.473
25Johann ZARCOPramac RacingDucati3.97
320Fabio QUARTARAROMonster Energy Yamaha MotoGPYamaha14.468
463Francesco BAGNAIADucati Lenovo TeamDucati16.172
59Danilo PetrucciTech 3 KTM Factory RacingKTM21.43
673Alex MarquezLCR Honda CASTROLHonda23.509
730Takaaki NakagamiLCR Honda IDEMITSUHonda30.164
844Pol EspargaroRepsol Honda TeamHonda35.221
927Iker LECUONATech 3 KTM Factory RacingKTM40.432
1012Maverick VIÑALESMonster Energy Yamaha MotoGPYamaha40.577
1146Valentino ROSSIPetronas Yamaha SRTYamaha42.198
1210Luca MARINISKY VR46 AvintiaDucati52.408
1333Brad BINDERRed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM59.377
1423Enea BASTIANINIAvintia EsponsoramaDucati+1’02.224
1553Tito RABATPramac RacingDucati+1’09.651
1621Franco MORBIDELLIPetronas Yamaha SRTYamaha4 Laps
Not classified93Marc MarquezRepsol Honda TeamHonda10 Laps
Not classified41Aleix ESPARGAROAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia12 Laps
Not classified88Miguel OLIVEIRARed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM15 Laps
Not classified42Alex RINSTeam SUZUKI ECSTARSuzuki15 Laps
Not classified32Lorenzo SAVADORIAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia16 Laps
Not classified36Joan MIRTeam SUZUKI ECSTARSuzuki23 Laps

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