|Valentino Rossi sees the chequered flag
for the 90th time [GALLO/GETTY]
Italy’s Valentino Rossi won the French Grand Prix for his 90th victory in all classes, tying Angel Nieto for second place on the all-time list and moving into the Moto GP overall lead.
Giacomo Agostini leads with 122 victories.
Starting from the second row on the grid, Rossi exchanged daring passes with defending overall champion Casey Stoner of Australia on the sixth lap before taking the lead.
Rossi quickly escaped the pack, while Dani Pedrosa accelerated past Stoner on the 10th lap.
The Australian rider retired on the 20th lap because of a mechanical problem.
Jorge Lorenzo staged an impressive comeback, despite two injured ankles and crashes on Friday and Saturday, to overtake Edwards on the 19th lap and Pedrosa on the next lap to finish second.
Colin Edwards of the United States finished third.
Rossi leads with 97 points after five rounds. Pedrosa and Lorenzo are next with 94.
Debon enjoys maiden victory
In the 250cc category, Alex Debon of Spain notched his first career victory.
Mika Kallio of Finland came fifth, but kept his lead in the standings with 93 points. Pasini remained second with 77 points.
In the 125cc class, Mike Di Meglio ended a 26-year drought for French riders at Le Mans by overtaking Bradley Smith of Britain with two laps to go and capture the lead in the overall standings.
Di Meglio leads with 74 points, eight clear of Nicolas Terol of Spain, who finished third.
The next round will be held on June 1 in Mugello, Italy.