Bezzecchi wins French GP as Bagnaia crashes out
VR46 Racing's Marco Bezzecchi produced a battling display at the French GP on Sunday to record his second win of the season and slash fellow Italian Francesco Bagnaia's championship lead.
Saturday's sprint winner Jorge Martin finished second, just over four seconds behind the winner, while Martin's Pramac Ducati teammate Johann Zarco was third to give the French fans something to cheer.
"It's fantastic, I started very well," Bezzecchi said. "I just tried to keep my rhythm, and I felt very good on the bike!"
Reigning champion Bagnaia was competing with Aprilia's Maverick Vinales 22 laps from the end when contact on a risky overtaking move caused both riders to crash out of the race.
Tempers flared and Vinales confronted the championship leader and shoved him before the pair were separated.
On the same lap, Gresini Ducati's Alex Marquez and Luca Marini of VR46 Ducati were involved in a crash, with Marquez emerging unscathed despite landing in the middle of the track.
Six-times world champion Marc Marquez looked on course for a second-placed finish, but pushed his Honda a little too far as he crashed out after making a mistake with two laps to go, opening the door for Martin and Zarco.
"I wanted to catch Marc, but I didn't want to make any mistake, and fortunately Marc did," said Frenchman Zarco.
"Pretty happy, podium here at the French GP and at the 1000th GP. It's an honour."
France's 2021 world champion Fabio Quartararo finished seventh.