Bridgestone: Marquez edges Lorenzo in French MotoGP qualifying

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Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Extra-soft, Soft Rear: Extra-soft (Symmetric), Soft, Medium (Asymmetric). Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)

Repsol Honda rookie sensation Marc Marquez claimed pole position for tomorrow’s French Grand Prix by the narrowest of margins, out-pacing Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo by just three-hundredths of a second.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Repsol Media

On another cool and blustery day at Le Mans, Marquez set a time of 1’33.187 for his second pole position of the season on his spare bike following a crash in FP4. Lorenzo was the only rider that could come close to Marquez, setting his best time of 1’33.217 on his penultimate qualifying lap. Rounding out the front row was Andrea Dovizioso, his exceptional lap time of 1’33.603 on the Ducati GP13 ensuring three different manufacturers at the front of the grid for tomorrow’s race. The Power Electronics Aspar duo of Aleix Espargaro and Randy de Puniet dominated the CRT class in qualifying today, with both riders participating in QP2 and finishing P11 and P12 respectively.

Cloud cover and a cool breeze kept ambient and track temperatures low today, with a peak track temperature of 22°C recorded. The cool conditions meant that all riders used the softer rear slick option today, although both front slick options were utilised, with most riders starting FP3 on the softer option front slick before graduating to the harder front option later in the session. The combination of the softer rear and harder front slick was also the popular choice in the afternoon qualifying sessions when riders attempted to set a quick lap time.

The lights will go out at 1400 local time tomorrow (GMT +2) for twenty-eight laps of the Le Mans circuit to decide who will win the French Grand Prix, though before then the riders will have one final chance to work on the setup of their bike in Morning Warm Up at 0940.

Shinji Aoki – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

“We saw lap times improve today as riders made good use of the dry track time, though low track temperatures and a strong, cool breeze still made conditions challenging for riders. The low track temperatures meant that riders didn’t evaluate the harder rear slick options today, and if conditions are dry tomorrow, I certainly expect that for the race we will see a strong trend towards the softer rear slick. Front slick tyre choice for the race I think will be dictated by how cool it is tomorrow. Some riders may prefer the advantage in warm-up performance and edge grip in cold conditions the softer front slick option offers over the better braking stability of the harder front slick.”

Bridgestone Motorsport

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About this article
Series MOTOGP
Article type Qualifying reports
Tags aoki, bridgestone, ducati, france, honda, lorenzo, marquez, motogp, yamaha