Petronas Honda SRT rider John McPhee came out on top of a Moto3 battle under overcast skies in Le Mans.
Starting from pole position and topping morning warm-up McPhee clearly had the pace to challenge at the front, however, with questions over the weather it wasn’t going to be easy for the Scotsman to take his first win since Brno 2016.
McPhee got off the line well, but it was Tatsuki Suzuki who took the wholeshot and lead for the opening half of the race, a lead group of six sat behind the Japanese rider with both Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Andrea Migno having spells at the front, but it was Suzuki who was in control.
With six laps to go, the race started to heat up and the lead group started becoming a lead group of twelve with the likes of Kaito Toba and Jakub Kornfiel joining the lead group.
Back at the front, Suzuki lost the rear end of his SIC58 machine and took out Tony Arbolino at the top of the hill under the Dunlop bridge.
Going into the final lap, the front four had pulled away with Dalla Porta leading from McPhee, Toba and Aron Canet. The Scot slipstreamed the Italian down the back straight and moved into the lead with half a lap remaining. Behind the front two, Canet moved aggressively past Toba taking them just too far behind meaning it was a scrap to the line.
McPhee kept his Honda hooked up through the final two corners and held on for his second career victory but just 0.106 seconds. McPhee’s victory makes it ten different winners in Moto3 in as many races, leaving the World Championship wide open.
Canet held onto his third position with Gabi Rodrigo, Migno both moving past Toba as a result of Canet’s move, with the Japanese rider having to settle for sixth place.
Celestino Vietti was seventh on his Sky Racing VR46 KTM, ahead of Kazuki Masaki, Kornfiel and Raul Fernandez with the Spaniard rounding out the top ten.
Jaume Masia had a two second penalty for cutting a corner, leaving him in twelfth place, further damaging his World Championship hopes.