Jorge Lorenzo’s gamble on tyres paid off as the Fiat Yamaha rider won the FIM MotoGP World Championship race in France to take over the series lead from team-mate Valentino Rossi.
But the real shock was second place for the Hayate Racing machine of Marco Melandri, who put his Ducati and Kawasaki nightmares firmly behind him.
Melandri struggled to be competitive on the Ducati and also thought he might not be racing this season when Kawasaki pulled out of MotoGP.
Behind Lorenzo and Melandri were Repsol Honda duo Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso, with the Ducati Marlboro machine of Casey Stoner in fifth. Great Britain’s James Toseland finished ninth.
Rossi could only finish 16th and failed to score a championship point, leaving the defending champion one point behind new leader Lorenzo in the standings and tied in second with Stoner on 65 points.