M2: French GP: Tech 3 qualifying report

Tech 3 celebrate home front row for Yuki Takahashi Yuki Takahashi produced a brilliant performance today to claim a stunning Moto2 front row start for the Tech 3 Racing Team in its home race at Le Mans. The Japanese rider finished just 0.031s...

Tech 3 celebrate home front row for Yuki Takahashi

Yuki Takahashi produced a brilliant performance today to claim a stunning Moto2 front row start for the Tech 3 Racing Team in its home race at Le Mans.

The Japanese rider finished just 0.031s away from claiming a maiden pole position for the new Tech 3 Moto2 project, which was designed and built at the team's French headquarters.

A best lap of 1.39.265 was only beaten by American Kenny Noyes as Takahashi claimed second place in another extremely close qualifying session for the exciting new Moto2 class. Less than one second covered the top 28 and Takahashi continued his excellent early season form, working tirelessly to find a comfortable race set-up ahead of the third round tomorrow. Today's result has boosted hopes of a historic first Moto2 podium finish for Tech 3 Racing in the 26-lap race.

Italian rider Raffaele de Rosa was unable to capitalise on an impressive performance in this morning's free practice session when he finished fifth quickest.

Changes to the rear set-up of his Tech 3 machine failed to deliver the expected positive result and he will start from 20th on the grid. Despite his lowly grid position, de Rosa was only 0.830s away from pole position.

Yuki Takahashi 2nd 1.39.234 -- 21 laps

"I am really happy to be on the front row again because this is such an important race for the Tech 3 Team. I know how much hard work has been put into this project and I am desperate to get a good result in Le Mans. All weekend my team have given me a great package. I've improved the bike in each session, even though we started with quite a different set-up to Jerez. It would have been amazing to get pole position for Tech 3 in France, but the important thing is the race and I feel we are in really good shape. A lot of riders who are normally at the front seemed to struggle a bit today, so I've got a good chance to be fighting at the front and going for the win. Being on the front row is crucial because the first chicane here is very tight. With so many bikes it will be tricky further down the field, so I need to make a good start. As always we've concentrated a lot on race set-up and I feel confident we can be strong for 26-laps."

Raffaele de Rosa 20th 1.40.064 -- 20 laps

"It is a big disappointment for me to be down in 20th on the grid because this morning we made a really good improvement with the bike. We found a good setting with the rear but we decided to make another modification to the swingarm but it wasn't the right way and I didn't have the same confidence to push as hard. The problem is you only need to lose a couple of tenths in this class and that costs you a lot of places on the grid. I'll go back to the set-up from this morning for the race and hopefully recover the good feeling I had. I know how important this race is for Tech 3 so I'll be determined to fight for the points."

-source: tech 3

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Yuki Takahashi