Vinales wins thrilling French MotoGP as Rossi comes off bike

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The race started with Vinales and Rossi in the lead, followed by Tech 3's Zarco riding on his home circuit.

"On the last lap I did a mistake, so Maverick overtook me, but I knew that I could have another chance because it was very close", Rossi said. He said, "For sure the tyres were working really good here" and now he hopes that they "can work like this also in Mugello. It was a stupid mistake, but it was still a good weekend, because I've never been so strong on this bike".

"I think it was the day that I was riding better on the bike, but Valentino was quite impressive". I just gave my best.

Rossi remained in control on the penultimate lap to set up a grandstand finish - but an uncharacteristic error saw him go wide on the final lap, which allowed Vinales to take the lead.

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But Vinales was full of fight and when Rossi blundered he grabbed the victory while Zarco celebrated his first top flight podium finish.

"The way I did the first corner, this fast corner, was like in qualifying, I just closed the eyes and went to the corner and [waited to] see what happens".

Then Vinales got the opportunity he needed. Anyway, I made a mistake, and it's like this.

"We have to be really happy because today was a hard day but we took it and we have to prepare really good for the last laps because you can always have a battle". It was very hard because the pace was always very high, but at the end I felt comfortable on the bike, I had a good feeling, so I tried to attack.

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Morbidelli's victory in France maintained his team's 100 percent win rate in 2017, despite another awesome ride from rookie Bagnaia - only 1.7s behind at the line - with Swiss veteran and multiple Le Mans victor Luthi third.

"I can tell that the bike is really similar to the test and it is the same bike that we used in the Jerez warm-up". Usually you have to pay attention to the front, but I lost the rear when I crashed.

Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso finished close behind Pedrosa in fourth, while LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow finished fifth.

While Vinales was in control of the race out front, Rossi was struggling to find an answer for Zarco's pace - but his patience eventually paid off with six laps remaining, as "The Doctor" passed the rookie and jumped into second. "We have to continue like that because we are doing a good job all the time with the set-up and that is very positive".

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This allowed Vinales to carry on easily and he emerged victorious in Le Mans, collecting his third win (fourth overall) and 25 championship points.

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