MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez won the French Grand Prix to maintain his 100 percent record in 2014 and become the youngest rider to win five races in a row in the top class of motorcycling.

The Spaniard, 21 years and 90 days old, smashed the record set by the late British great Mike 'The Bike' Hailwood who won five successive 500cc races in 1962 at the age of 22 and 160 days.

Marquez had started on pole position for the fifth time in five races this season but had to fight back from 10th place at the end of the first lap after a poor getaway at the sunny Le Mans circuit.

He reeled in Italian Valentino Rossi, who had led from the start, with 16 of 28 laps to go and pulled away convincingly to become the first rider to win five races in a row from pole since Australian Mick Doohan in 1997.

Rossi reaches milestone

Rossi finished second on a Yamaha, for his 150th podium in the top category, with Spaniard Alvaro Bautista third on a non-works Gresini Honda for his first top three finish since 2012.

"Today was a little bit harder than the other races, especially in the beginning," grinned Marquez, the first rider since Italian great Giacomo Agostini in 1972 to win the first five races of a season in the top class.

"But I'm really happy for this victory. We must enjoy the moment because five victories in a row is not easy," he told reporters.

Marquez now has a maximum 125 points with Honda team mate Dani Pedrosa, who finished fifth, on 83 and Rossi on 81.

Source: Reuters