As the sun was still astonishingly out in France Moto3 got under way and it was a brilliant multi-rider race from start to finish.
It was Australian Jack Miller who would come out on top from the thrilling last lap action he pulled out an aggressive pass to deal with the attentions of Efren Vazquez, while using his braking skills to help his underpowered KTM across the line first ahead of his Honda rivals.
|Marc VDS riders Kallio & Rabat return to the podium
The Red Bull KTM teenagers third win in an incredibly strong opening to the season gives him a massive 30 point lead over his nearest title rival, Romano Fenati, who retired with mechanical failure.
Miller had made a near perfect start to hit the front before a mistake by Racing Team Germany rider Vazquez gave Alex Rins a large advantage and the lead.
As the Estrella Galicia rider was reeled in the pack followed leaving the race win wide open.
Rins held on for second, ahead of Isaac Vinales who had been in the hunt from early in the race, third giving him a career best finish and first podium.
Francesco Bagnaia was next across the line as the rest of the pack arrived snatching fourth ahead of Alex Marquez who had done a lot of the work in the middle of the race to chase down Rins in the middle of the race, an eventual fifth. Vazquez crossed the line sixth.
The best placing rookie was Enea Bastianini was seventh for the Go&Fun Junior Team ahead of John McPhee, unlucky not to finish higher after battling hard in eighth.
Home rider Alexis Masbou dropped like a stone after a strong start for ninth with Jakub Kornfeil nudging his way into the top ten for Team Calvo.
The remaining points on offer went to an improved Zulfahmi Khairuddin in 11th, top Mahindra rider Miguel Oliveira in 12th, British Husqvarna racerr Danny Kent in 13th – beating team-mate Niklas Ajo who crashed late on.
Brad Binder finished in 14thfor Ambrogio while Philipp Oettl crossed the line 15th for the final point.
Mika Kallio played a smooth and confident waiting game before easing away to win the Moto2 race, once clear of race rival Simone Corsi he looked at ease on his way to victory in France.
The result means back-to-back wins for the Finn for the first time in his career and in the process he narrows his Marc VDS team-mate Tito Rabat’s lead to just a slim seven points.
Corsi had powered to the front from the second row and though eventually passed by Kallio the Italian Forward rider still equaled his career best result in Moto2.
Tito Rabat staged an exciting comeback after reaching the front of the chasing group as he battled to third for a great result in France for Marc VDS, and keeps hold of his championship lead in the process.
Luis Salom who was in a podium position before being tracked down was then thrown into a fight with his Pons HP 40 team-mate Maverick Vinales for position, with the reigning Moto3 champion eventually taking fourth and top rookie honours.
Completing an all Kalex top six was pole man Jonas Folger, unable to capitalise on his excellent qualifying performance for the AGR Team.
The first Suter to finish was piloted by Dominique Aegerter in seventh after winning the duel with his fellow countryman Tom Luthi leaving him in eighth.
Sam Lowes finished an impressive ninth for Speed Up, their best rider on the day, making up places after a mistake at the start throughout the race.
After a big gap Franco Morbidelli took the flag in tenth for Italtrans ahead of German pair Marcel Schrotter in 11th for Tech 3 and Sandro Cortese who took 12th for Dynavolt Intact GP.
Randy Krumennacher fought to 13th, while Ant West continued his run of points finishes in 14th. Malaysian Hafizh Syahrin took the final point in 15th.
Briton Gino Rea saw improvements with a 19th finishing in touching distance of the points.
The only French rider to finish was wild-card Lucas Mahias one place ahead of Rea in 18th.
Le Mans Moto3 Race Result Top 15:
1. Jack Miller Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 41m 30.582
2. Alex Rins Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Honda) 41m 30.677
3. Isaac Viñales Calvo Team (KTM) 41m 30.812
4. Francesco Bagnaia SKY Racing Team VR46 (KTM) 41m 31.069
5. Alex Marquez Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Honda) 41m 31.513
6. Efren Vazquez SaxoPrint-RTG (Honda) 41m 31.522
7. Enea Bastianini Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 41m 31.608
8. John McPhee SaxoPrint-RTG (Honda) 41m 31.803
9. Alexis Masbou Ongetta-Rivacold (Honda) 41m 32.157
10. Jakub Kornfeil Calvo Team (KTM) 41m 32.755
11. Zulfahmi Khairuddin Ongetta-AirAsia (Honda) 41m 42.422
12. Miguel Oliveira Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 41m 45.086
13. Danny Kent Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 41m 45.226
14. Brad Binder Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 41m 45.552
15. Philipp Oettl Interwetten Paddock Moto3 (Kalex-KTM) 41m 52.808
Le Mans Moto2 Race Result Top 15:
1. Mika Kallio Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 42m 41.696
2. Simone Corsi NGM Forward Racing (Kalex) 42m 42.711
3. Esteve Rabat Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 42m 42.999
4. Maverick Viñales Pons HP 40 (Kalex) 42m 43.883
5. Luis Salom Pons HP 40 (Kalex) 42m 45.315
6. Jonas Folger AGR Team (Kalex) 42m 45.614
7. Dominique Aegerter Technomag carXpert (Suter) 42m 54.020
8. Thomas Luthi Interwetten Paddock Moto2 (Suter) 42m 57.248
9. Sam Lowes Speed Up (Speed Up) 42m 59.323
10. Franco Morbidelli Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 43m 10.400
11. Marcel Schrotter Tech 3 (Tech 3) 43m 15.289
12. Sandro Cortese Dynavolt Intact GP (Kalex) 43m 17.854
13. Randy Krummenacher IodaRacing Project (Suter) 43m 17.923
14. Anthony West QMMF Racing Team (Speed Up) 43m 18.243
15. Hafizh Syahrin Petronas Raceline Malaysia (Kalex) 43m 18.368