Motorcycle Racing

10 things we learned from the 2023 MotoGP French GP

It is another happy Monday for Bezzecchi

Motorcycle grand prix racing’s 1000th event did not disappoint, as the 2023 MotoGP French Grand Prix at Le Mans delivered plenty of drama. 

Ducati enjoyed a stellar weekend in France, picking up victories in the sprint race and the grand prix courtesy of Jorge Martin and Marco Bezzecchi, while it locked out the podium in the grand prix.

Martin’s sprint win seemingly unlocked something as he backed it up with a podium in the grand prix to cap off his best weekend results since his maiden GP win at the Styrian round in 2021. And Bezzecchi proved his title credentials with a dominant grand prix victory on his year-old VR46-run Ducati, closing to within a point of championship leader Francesco Bagnaia after he was taken out in an early collision.

Elsewhere, Marc Marquez returned as Honda put its new Kalex chassis through its paces. The frame seemingly brought a step forward in performance as Marquez qualified second and was on course to finish there in the grand prix before a late crash.

He was much happier than Fabio Quartararo, who complained again about Yamaha’s lack of horsepower and has now decided to revert to his 2021 settings, while stewarding remained a topic of discussion as a meeting between Freddie Spencer and the riders ultimately came to nothing.

Here are the 10 things we learned from the 2023 MotoGP French GP.

1. Bezzecchi’s modesty defies his genuine title credentials

It is another happy Monday for Bezzecchi

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Marco Bezzecchi marked himself out as a star in the making during his 2022 rookie year, and has carried that into this season. His Argentina Grand Prix win in the wet was the next step of his evolution, but what he displayed at Le Mans was a serious message.

Starting from seventh on the grid, Bezzecchi couldn’t improve on that position in the sprint, but in the grand prix was unstoppable. As the chaos of the early laps unfolded, Bezzecchi quickly found himself in podium contention.

Not even having to drop one place for an aggressive overtake on Marc Marquez on lap eight of 27 threw him from his stride. Taking the lead on lap 11, he fired in the fastest lap of the race next time around with a 1m31.975s. But it was his 1m31.855s on lap 15 that proved decisive. Now 1.8s clear, he rocketed away to a 4.2s lead to the chequered flag. With Bagnaia out, Bezzecchi is just one point behind the championship leader now and screams serious title credentials, even if he doesn’t…

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