Spain's Dani Pedrosa claimed top spot in the world championship MotoGP standings when he won his maiden French Grand Prix on a wet Le Mans course on Sunday.
The Honda rider took the lead midway through the race to beat Britain's Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) and Spanish rookie Marc Marquez (Honda), who were second and third respectively.
Pedrosa has 83 points after the fourth leg of the 18-race championship and leads Marquez by six points while Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo, a disappointing seventh on Sunday, is on 66 points.
Marquez, who started on pole as world championship leader, fell behind early in the race but produced a skilful performance to end up on the podium. Nine-times world champion Valentino Rossi of Italy skidded out on a curve 11 laps from the finish and finished 12th.
(Writing by Julien Pretot in Paris; Editing by Clare Fallon)