PARIS (Reuters) – Spaniard Marc Marquez extended his MotoGP world championship lead when he won the French Grand Prix in commanding fashion on Sunday.
The Repsol Honda rider took the lead with 18 laps remaining in Le Mans and held off Italians Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) and Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), who were second and third respectively.
With his third victory in three races, which put him on 95 points, four-time MotoGP world champion Marquez stretched his lead to 36 points over his compatriot Maverick Vinales.
Frenchman Johann Zarco dropped from second to third on 58 points.
Zarco, who started from pole position and was chasing a first French victory in the French GP in the top class since Christian Sarron in 1988, crashed out of contention in the eighth lap.
Italian Andrea Dovizioso also crashed as he was leading the race.
In Moto3, Fabio Di Giannantonio (Honda) thought he had won but he was handed a three-second penalty for riding outside the track in the ninth curve and therefore lost his victory.
The win eventually went to Spain’s Albert Arenas (KTM), whose previous best result this season was 15th.
In Moto2, Italian Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) led from start to finish.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot, editing by Pritha Sarkar)