Pedrosa wins French GP with well-judged ride

Updated: Sunday, 19 May 2013 19:07

Dani Pedrosa heads the MotoGP World Championship standings after a well-judged French Grand Prix win, while Britain's Cal Crutchlow picked up a career-best second place at a damp Le Mans.

Repsol Honda rider Pedrosa only started the race from sixth on the grid, but made a good start to get away cleanly with the front runners in the tricky conditions.

The Spaniard worked his way up to second and enjoyed a good battle with the Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso, eventually making a decisive move to pull away for his second victory of 2013, which moves him six points clear of team-mate Marc Marquez.

Crutchlow, meanwhile, produced a mature ride at the end of a week which has seen his future at the Tech 3 Yamaha team thrown into doubt.

The Coventry rider was also racing with a fracture to his shin following a big fall in Saturday practice, but he bided his time to climb his way up from fifth in the early stages and work his way past Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi and Dovizioso to claim second place.

Marquez, enjoying a sensational rookie season, finished third after a superb recovery from a woeful start.

Marquez started on pole but had dropped to eighth by the end of lap one as he struggled badly with the wet conditions.

The youngster survived two scary moments during the opening laps but as the track dried his pace improved, and he eventually took third from Dovizioso on the penultimate lap.

But it was a miserable day for Lorenzo, the reigning world champion could not run with Dovizioso and Pedrosa early on and slowly dropped back to an eventual seventh. Team-mate Rossi was only 12th after crashing out of fourth position.

Nicky Hayden was fifth on the second factory Ducati, with Alvaro Bautista sixth.

Michele Pirro was eighth, with Bradley Smith claiming his best result so far in ninth and Stefan Bradl, another to recover from a fall, rounding out the top 10.