Daniel Holgado fought to the front early in the race and soaked up the pressure to win the Moto3 French Grand Prix, round five of the championship.

Hitting the front on the first lap from third on the grid, the championship leader lead the race from the front.

Always under pressure from the chasing group, especially as crashes in the pack seems to alert the riders into action, with Ayumu watching his every move, the Spaniard kept to his own line and stayed calm.

As the race came to a close the duo were swapping new best lap records as they picked up the pace.

Holgado was ready for every move and blocked his way to the line for his second win of the season, celebrating so hard he set of the airbag in his leathers.


It marked a great day for the satellite Red Bull KTM team, handing Tech 3 a home victory.

The Japanese rider finished just 0.150s behind for Liqui Moly Intact GP, the second year in a row Sasaki has been forced to settle for second. the #71 is yet to translate his strong qualifying form - where he again started from pole - to a win, though this time he secured his first podium finish of the season.

Last season’s Le Mans winner Jaume Masia was pushing hard to keep up with the duo ahead after riding as high as second in the race. A third podium in a row was in jeopardy as he lost the front and rear on the last lap but held on, though it ended the #5’s hopes of a last lunge at the win.

Masia was the only Honda rider inside the top ten.

The lead group of seven that existed for much of the race was down to four by the closing stages with Ivan Ortola, who arrived in France with back-to-back wins to his name finishing fourth on the Angeluss MTA entry.

Ryusei Yamanaka went from hanging on at the back of the lead pack to fifth by the close of the race, equalling his best ever race result with Gaviota GasGas Aspar.

Deniz Oncu was in the hunt but faded to sixth on the Red Bull KTM Ajo, with Xavier Artigas (CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP) the last of the original leaders to reach the finish in seventh.

On hitting the front of the chasing pack a gap already existed and after initially giving chase the task was too big for eighht placed rider David Alonso. The GaGas Aspar rider had already made huge moves at the Bugatti circuit to get that far - a poor qualifying had seen him start from 25th on the grid.

Initally Jose Antonio Rueda went with him, but fell back a little on his way to ninth to finish as top rookie on the second Red Bull KTM entry.

Stefano Nepa, still using crutches around the paddock, battled his body as well as his on track rivals to claim a top ten finish on the second Angeluss bike.

An also battered and bruised, Joel Kelso was next to see the chequered flag in eleventh for CFMOTO, just ahead of Kaito Toba, who enjoyed bhis own blistering run through the pack to finish twelfth for SIC58 Squadra Corse from 23rd on the grid.

The remaining points on offer went to Tatsuki Suzuki in 13th on the second Leopard after he started down in 24th for Leopard, David Salvador, who needed to pass a fitness test on arriving at the circuit on Thurday in 14th for home team CIP Green Power and Collin Veijer( Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP), who attended the medical centre following his qualifying fall in 15th.


Riccardo Rossi stages comeback from qualifying error


Riccardo Rossi had looked set to finally live up to his pre-season test topping form and although the tricky weather conditions had seen him in Q1, the SIC58 Squadra Corse rider had looked certain to progress until he was removed from third. The error was fixed, but not before he missed out on a shot at an elevated grid position - starting 22nd on the grid.

The gremlins also played a part in Q2, with Migno moved back as both Moreira and Holgado had times reinstated ahead of him - leaving him bewildered after pushing his bike back to parc ferme following his late crash as the marshals - correctly at the time - had told him to attend for finishing second. The Italian was eventually allotted fifth on the grid.

In the race Rossi fought hard to climb back from his position, and after stalling in the early twenties in the first few laps he rallied to just miss out on a points finish in 16th.


Crashes, injuries and replacements


Syarifuddin Azman was the first to exit at the Blue Esses from eleventh place.

Migno is still in for long-term absentee Lorenzo Fellon, who misses his home race with the CIP Green Power team. He fell at the same corner with thirteen laps remaining.

Scott Ogden as next to exit at Museum on lap nine. His VisionTrack teammate Joshua Whatley was the last rider to finish in 22nd.

Diogo Moreira fell out of the lead group with nine laps remaining.


Where does that leave the championship?


Diogo Moreira extends his championship lead with another win to his credit. With a total of 84 he now enjoys a 19 point gap back to second overall.

That position is held by Ivan Ortola thanks to his two wins, with Jaume Masia on the same amount of points after another rostrum finish.