Reigning 250cc world champion Jorge Lorenzo has taken his fourth win from five starts with a hard fought victory at Le Mans in France.
Lorenzo converted pole into an early lead, but was subsequently caught and passed by both fellow Aprilia rider Alex de Angelis and Honda's Andrea Dovizioso. With 11 of the 26 laps to go, Lorenzo and Dovizioso then clashed as their lines crossed exiting a corner, helping de Angelis pull a 1.2secs lead up front while Hector Barbera and Julian Simon moved within striking distance.
The two title contenders then regrouped before reeling de Angelis back in: Lorenzo retook the lead with six laps to go, while de Angelis lost second place to Dovizioso two laps later.
Dovi then mounted a last gasp charge to try and topple Lorenzo - but was left just 0.156secs behind the #1 at the chequered flag, while de Angelis completed the podium with a safe third. Lorenzo celebrated with a 'look-a-like' dressed in identical Fortuna Aprilia leathers, before planting his 'Lorenzo's Land' flag in the Le Mans gravel.
Not so happy were reigning 125cc world champion Alvaro Bautista - who ran off track after missing his braking point on lap 5 of 26, while holding second position - and former 125cc world champion Thomas Luthi - who had qualified fourth, but retired on lap one when his Aprilia seized.
Race results – Le Mans:
1. Lorenzo (Aprilia)
2. Dovizioso (Honda) +0.156secs
3. de Angelis (Aprilia) +2.733secs
4. Barbera (Aprilia) +5.971secs
5. Simon (Honda) +6.111secs
6. Simoncelli (Gilera) +22.753secs
7. Kallio (KTM) +23.139secs
8. Bautista (Aprilia) +27.416secs
9. S. Aoyama (Honda) +28.915secs
10. West (Aprilia) +33.950secs
15. Laverty (Honda) +1min 7.649secs