Casey Stoner overcame an uncharacteristically bad start to fight his way up to the lead of the MotoGP race at Le Mans  and took victory in the French Grand Prix.  Dani Pedrosa who lead the race early on was brought down clearly by Marco Simoncelli whose riding has been criticized by Jorge Lorenzo as being dangerous.  The crash not only ended Pedrosa’s race but also broke his collarbone.  For many races now Pedrosa has been struggling with injuries and the latest is not going to do any good for his chances of a World Championship in a year when Honda is proving to be the motorcycle to beat.  Both Pramac Ducatis of Loris Capirossi and Randy De Puniet crashed out of the race as did the Tech3 Yamaha of Cal Crutchlow.  The biggest beneficiary of the crash fest was Andrea Dovizioso who overtook Valentino Rossi and stayed ahead in spite of mounting pressure to take second place in the race.  Valentino Rossi also benefitted from the Simoncelli-Pedrosa skirmish to finish on the podium in third place, the first time ever for Ducati.  It must have been satisfying for Rossi to overtake Lorenzo in the race while Simoncelli was able to comeback from his moment to overtake Ben Spies for fifth place.  Lorenzo finished fourth and Spies sixth.  It is obvious that Spies is finding it difficult to fill Rossi’s shoes.  Nicky Hayden claimed seventh while Hiroshi Aoyama claimed eighth place.  Colin Edwards on the second of the Tech3 Yamahas finished thirteenth and last.