Salisbury JournalMarquez dominates at Le Mans (From Salisbury Journal)

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Marquez dominates at Le Mans

Salisbury Journal: Marc Marquez raced up from 10th place to win the France MotoGP Marc Marquez raced up from 10th place to win the France MotoGP

Reigning champion Marc Marquez continued his dominance of this year's MotoGP as he claimed his fifth win from five this season with a battling victory at Le Mans to take a 42-point lead at the top of the table.

The 21-year-old Spaniard, who started in pole position, moved through the field after dropping down to 10th following a mistake on the opening lap and eventually passed leader Valentino Rossi on his Yamaha with 15 laps remaining and held on for the maximum points with a time of 44 minutes 03.925 seconds.

Six-time champion Rossi came home 1.4secs further back with Honda Gresini's Alvaro Bautista joining them on the podium - for the first time since since 2012 - as he finished third which moved him up five places into 10th in the standings.

As the opening lap unravelled, Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, who qualified third fastest, took an early lead after an entertaining start with Stefan Bradl second and Rossi third as Marquez fell to 10th directly behind Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo and Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa.

Italian Rossi moved past Bradl then battled compatriot Dovizioso and took the lead two laps later as Marquez began climbing up the field, passing Britain's Bradley Smith into sixth.

At the same time Monster Yamaha's Pol Espargaro, in his debut MotoGP campaign and at his team's home race, moved into second.

Marquez continued to move through the field and overtook Bautista and Lorenzo in the next two laps before he was hot on the heels of Rossi and fighting for the lead.

The young Spaniard, who this week signed a new two-year contract to remain with Honda, passed his rival with 15 laps to go as the Italian made a mistake allowing the reigning champion to move in front and Marquez remained in control to the finish line.

Marquez was delighted with his victory and told BT Sport: "Today was a little bit harder than the other races, especially in the beginning.

"I need to be more aggressive, like last year because many riders overtook me.

"And then lap by lap I attacked through the field again like in the practice and I saw that Valentino opened up a small gap.

"I'm very, very happy for this victory, so we must enjoy this moment because five victories in a row is not easy."

Pol Espargaro ended the race in fourth ahead of Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Bradl, while early leader Dovizioso only managed eighth in his Ducati.

Forward Yamaha's Aleix Espargaro came home ninth and Smith wrapped up the top 10 as he finished immediately ahead of fellow Brit's Cal Crutchlow on his Ducati and Honda Gresini's Scott Redding.

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