Lowes wins at Le Mans after Dixon crashes from lead

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On a still slightly damp track, the race bizarrely started without poleman Joe Roberts in position, as the American Racing rider suffered a bike problem ahead of the warm-up lap and didn’t catch up to the back of the pack before the red lights went out.

Remy Gardner took advantage of Roberts’ absence to vault into an early lead ahead of Xavi Vierge and Lowes, but on the second tour Marc VDS rider Lowes picked off both the Petronas Sprinta bike of Vierge and Gardner on the SAG machine to grab the lead.

Dixon on the second Petronas machine then charged up to second on the third lap of 26, with team-mate Vierge crashing out on lap five, and on lap seven he took advantage of Lowes running wide at Garage Vert to take the lead.

The former British Superbike title contender had a lead as big as three seconds at one point before a recovering Lowes started to close back in, with the gap between the pair stabilising at a little over a second in the middle part of the race.

But Dixon’s hopes of a first grand prix win ended on lap 22 with a low-side at the final corner, gifting Lowes a lead he would manage to the chequered flag to claim his first victory since the 2016 Aragon round – and his first since his ill-fated MotoGP stint.

Gardner passed VR46 rider Marco Bezzecchi on the last lap to grab second, his best result of the year, while Augusto Fernandez was fourth on the second Marc VDS bike.

From last, Roberts completed a remarkable charge to finish in sixth place behind Thomas Luthi (Intact GP). Rounding out the top 10 were Fabio di Giannantonio (Speed Up), Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons), Enea Bastianini (Italtrans) and Somkiat Chantra (Honda Team Asia).

Points leader Luca Marini (VR46) finished out of the points in 17th following his massive practice crash that required him to be taken for hospital for a check-up.

Marini nonetheless maintains a 13-point lead at the head of the table with five rounds to run ahead of Bastianini, while Bezzecchi and Lowes are 20 and 22 points back respectively.

Moto2 French Grand Prix race results – 25 laps

PosRiderTeamGap
1Sam LowesEG 0,0 Marc VDS41m27.648s
2Remy GardnerONEXOX TKKR SAG Team3.822s
3Marco BezzecchiSKY Racing Team VR464.184s
4Augusto FernandezEG 0,0 Marc VDS5.884s
5Thomas LuthiLiqui Moly Intact GP21.668s
6Joe RobertsTennor American Racing29.197s
7Fabio Di GiannantonioTermozeta Speed Up32.249s
8Lorenzo BaldassarriFlexbox HP 4034.376s
9Somkiat ChantraIdemitsu Honda Team Asia35.392s
10Marcel SchrotterLiqui Moly Intact GP35.521s
11Enea BastianiniItaltrans Racing Team37.720s
12Hector GarzoFlexbox HP 4037.910s
13Marcos RamirezTennor American Racing38.423s
14Stefano ManziMV Agusta Forward Racing43.464s
15Hafizh SyahrinInde Aspar Team Moto244.036s
16Simone CorsiMV Agusta Forward Racing44.217s
17Luca MariniSKY Racing Team VR4659.550s
18Lorenzo Dalla PortaItaltrans Racing Team1m09.735s
19Edgar PonsFederal Oil Gresini Moto21m09.751s
20Bo BendsneyderNTS RW Racing GP1m12.930s
21Tetsuta NagashimaRed Bull KTM Ajo1m14.158s
22Piotr BiesiekirskiNTS RW Racing GP1 Lap
Kasma KasmayudinONEXOX TKKR SAG TeamDisqualified
Jake DixonPetronas Sprinta RacingRetirement
Jorge NavarroTermozeta Speed UpRetirement
Nicolo BulegaFederal Oil Gresini Moto2Retirement
Andi IzdiharIdemitsu Honda Team AsiaRetirement
Xavi ViergePetronas Sprinta RacingRetirement
Jorge MartinRed Bull KTM AjoRetirement
Aron CanetInde Aspar Team Moto2Not started

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