Starting from pole position for the second MotoGP in succession, Francesco Bagnaia got a decent start but was passed by both Jack Miller and Enea Bastianini

However, a small mistake from Bastianini at Garage Vert [Turn 8] allowed both Bagnaia and Alex Rins

Further back, pre-race favourite Fabio Quartararo had a shocking start as he dropped from fourth to eighth. 

And aggressive Quartararo attempted to regain the places lost, but as he lunged down the inside of Takaaki Nakagami [Turn 13], both riders ran wide which allowed Marc Marquez to take advantage. 

Quartararo eventually got the better of Marquez, but not before Nakagami ran off-track at turn two. 

Rins’ chances of winning the French MotoGP end with a big crash

Then came a huge crash for the fast-starting Rins. In what looked like a mirror-image to what happened with Johann Zarco and Marco Bezzecchi earlier on in the weekend, Rins got his braking wrong for turn one and ran through the gravel. 

But unlike the two Ducati riders, Rins crashed immediately after re-joining the circuit. A hugely disappointing end to a Grand Prix in which Rins had the pace to win. 

Tech 3 KTM’s bad start to the 2022 season got even worse as Remy Gardner crashed on lap five, while team-mate Raul Fernandez also went down at turn 6 on lap seven. 

As Mir began to lose ground behind Bagnaia, Miller and Bastianini, Espargaro started catching the Suzuki rider hand over fist. 

As Miguel Oliveira had a warning for track limits, Alex Marquez was beyond that stage as he was awarded a long-lap penalty.

With Bagnaia gently pulling clear of Miller, Bastianini knew a move for second place was needed with immediate effect. 

And that’s exactly what happened with 16 laps to go as he brilliantly out-braked Miller at turn eight.

With his championship hopes in the balance following a DNF in Portimao, Mir then suffered a crash of his own doing as he fell at turn 14. 

As he did with Miller, Bastianini quickly closed in on Bagnaia as a move for the lead appeared to be imminent. 

While such a move was being resisted by Bagnaia, Pramac rider Jorge Martin, who had already failed to finish four out of the first six races, crashed out yet again. 

Bagnaia loses the lead before throwing a certain podium away…

As the race appeared to be at a standstill, lap 20 was the beginning of the end for Bagnaia. 

After losing the lead to Bastianini at turn three, Bagnaia brilliantly responded at turn five as he cut back underneath Bastianini. 

But a first mistake at turn eight allowed Bastianini back into the lead, before the Jerez MotoGP winner lost the front at turn 14, thus crashing out and losing a safe P2. 

With Bagnaia’s error, Espargaro and Aprilia were in another podium position although pressure was being applied from Quartararo. 

But with three laps remaining Espargaro began to pull clear, or that’s how it appeared before Quartararo had one last turn of pace.

The home favourite got very close in sector four and looked set to attempt a move at turn 13, however, Espargaro was brilliant as he remained calm and pipped the Yamaha rider to the line.