Honda's Marc Marquez shows speed, fights for podium in 1000th Grand Prix

Marquez starred in a thrilling French GP, battling until very end for podium and showing no. 93 is well and truly back. For Joan Mir, small mistakes ended race with huge potential after strong start

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The Repsol Honda Team's Marc Marquez starred in a thrilling French GP, battling until the very end for the podium and showing the no. 93 is well and truly back. For Joan Mir, small mistakes ended a race with huge potential after a strong start.

Saturday's electric atmosphere was only amplified as a record-breaking crowd of over 116,000 descended on the Le Mans circuit for race day. These fans would not leave disappointed as the most thrilling race of the year quickly erupted - Marc Marquez playing a leading role as he fought with his characteristic determination for every place on his return to the grid.

From second on the grid, the no.93 immediately put himself into contention for the lead as he battled with Jack Miller in the opening laps. The pair continually traded places and fought fiercely as other riders loomed in the background. Marquez was briefly pushed out of podium contention as he and Bezzecchi ran wide but quickly found his way back into the top three. As the drama unfolded behind him, Marquez turned his attention to Jorge Martin and the top three.

The pair began another awe-inspiring battle in the second half of the race as Marquez slid his Honda RC213V around the French circuit, defending second place in spectacular style. A moment coming out of Turn 6 would put the eight-time World Champion on the wrong line into Turn 7, resulting in a fall. Walking away unharmed, Marquez was disappointed not to walk away with a reward for the weekend's work but content with the performance he produced.

Joan Mir had a lightning start to the 27-lap French GP and found himself in 11th on the first lap. Battling with home heroes Zarco and Quartararo, he and the Repsol Honda Team machine were showing well in the opening laps and closing in on the top ten. Unfortunately, a mistake a few laps later dropped the No. 36 back and outside the points before a crash ended his race. Despite this, Mir leaves France with a positive feeling after a setup change saw him greatly improve his race pace.

"I am really happy with the race; I was able to ride like I rode a long time ago and I was really able to enjoy being on the bike. Unfortunately, the final result is not what we wanted, but I spent the whole race fighting and pushing the limit. We have had a really busy weekend doing a lot of work and a podium would have been a great reward, especially for my team who have continued to work at their maximum. We still need to find a bit more to fight like this every weekend. In terms of the crash, I fell at Turn 7 but it started at Turn 6 when I had a lot of shaking and I didn't arrive with the perfect line. I think we had a real MotoGP race; it was a great show for all the fans who came here this weekend, " said Honda rider Marc Marquez.

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"I made a really good start to the race and I was able to ride comfortably in the opening laps. When you are battling with the top ten and in a big group, there's a really big slipstream effect and it becomes harder to stop the bike. I stood the bike up to avoid hitting Aleix and this is where the mistake came from and I lost the group. Then I tried some different things with the bike and I unfortunately fell. But I was able to ride in low 32s, this is really important and the thing that we have to focus on. We take these positives, study everything well and prepare for the next race, " said Honda rider Joan Mir.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: May 15 2023 | 5:56 PM IST

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