Jorge Lorenzo says his victory at Le Mans has blown the MotoGP World Championship wide open following title rival Marc Marquez's costly spill in France on Sunday.
Repsol Honda rider Marquez saw his advantage evaporate when he came off during the race at turn seven, remounting to eventually finish 13th and salvaging a few points.
Lorenzo has taken over at the top and now the leads the way by five points from Marquez ahead of the sixth round at Mugello, with Valentino Rossi only a further seven points adrift in third.
“It's a special day, especially for the championship. Before this race, Marquez didn't make any mistakes and this was the opposite of the Yamaha riders because I crash in Argentina and Rossi in Austin, so we start from zero in the next races,” Lorenzo said.
“Now comes Mugello and it is a track that I love and probably it is my favourite track, where I can take the profit of all my qualities and my strong points.
“Obviously the Ducati there will be strong with the long straight and it is the track where they spend more time testing,” added the reigning world champion.
“But I think for the moment they don't count so much for the championship with the mistakes of both riders so we have to compare our level with Marc and Rossi. It's great that we are coming there leading the championship.”
Reflecting on the race, which Lorenzo dominated from pole to win by 10 seconds from Rossi in a Yamaha one-two, the Mallorcan said was loathe to relax too much in spite of his advantage at the front on the M1.
“When Rossi was seven or eight seconds [behind] I could breathe a little bit, but not too more because I wanted to keep a high pace and not lose my concentration,” he said.
“The bike was great and the tyres also: I think Michelin have made a nice job and worked fast to improve the problems we had in Jerez, especially in the centre because we had more grip during all the race.
“I wanted to keep this '33 high [pace] and not change my lines or get too relaxed to avoid making any stupid mistakes or crashing.”
Lorenzo stated his unhappiness with the performance of the rear Michelin tyre at Jerez, with wheel-spin creating a big problem on the main straight.
Michelin arrived in France with three new rear options and Lorenzo praised their hard work behind the scenes to overcome the issue.
“Critical, no, I was just saying what I feel and if I feel the tyres need to improve, I say this because it is important they understand on this occasion they need to work and they did it – it is very important,” said Lorenzo.
“Sometimes in the past you complain about some aspects of the tyre but the reaction was very late, but with Michelin they are willing to improve the tyres and give us the best tyres and that is why I congratulate them yesterday and also today.”