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LE MANS, France (AP) — Jorge Lorenzo won the French Grand Prix on Sunday ahead of championship leader Valentino Rossi for his second straigt MotoGP victory.
Lorenzo, who won at home in Spain at the beginning of the month, started from third on the grid but quickly overtook Andrea Dovizioso and pole sitter Marc Marquez after a mistake by the two-time defending champion.
"In this sport the bike counts for a lot, but also the driver, and it's only when all the pieces are in place that things can go well," Lorenzo said. "In my season the pieces started to fall into place at Jerez and at Le Mans, even if this time it appeared to be more difficult with Marquez, but he made some mistakes today."
Rossi was second, 3.82 seconds behind his Yamaha teammate, with Dovizioso third, more than 12 seconds off the pace.
Rossi started from seventh on the grid but slowly made his way up the field, overtaking Marquez on lap three before bypassing the Ducatis of Andrea Iannone and Dovizioso to leave him 1.8 seconds behind Lorenzo at the halfway stage.
"If you told me yesterday that I would be second I would have signed for it in blood," Rossi said.
Marquez, who ran wide at the first chicane, dropped as low as seventh after running wide again but then charged up the order and was involved in an intriguing battle with Iannone for fourth spot, eventually edging out the Italian by less than half a second — but 19 seconds slower than Lorenzo.
Lorenzo leapfrogged above Dovizioso into second overall, 15 points behind Rossi heading into the Italian's home race at Mugello on May 31.
Dovizioso is four points further back.