Marquez secures dream fifth consecutive MotoGP pole position in typical style at Le Mans

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Championship leader seals another pole qualifying record ahead of Pol Espargaro and Andrea Dovizioso

Marc Marquez scorched to another pole position at the Le Mans Bugatti circuit today with the reigning MotoGP champions now securing all five pole positions of this season so far. Starting alongside Marquez in tomorrow’s Monster Energy Grand Prix de France will be Monster Energy Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro wit the rookie having a great qualifying session to set the second fastest time ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and the Ducati Team.

Marquez immediately leaped to the top of the timing sheets and would eventually set the fastest ever pole lap set at Le Mans of 1m 32.042s with Espargaro a further 0.692s behind and Dovizioso setting a best time of 1m 32.755s. Starting from the front of the second row will be Stefan Bradl with the German setting a best lap of 1m 32.846s for the LCR Honda team while Valentino Rossi secured a fifth place start and just 0.027s ahead of his teammate Jorge Lorenzo.

Pol Espargaro, Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Pol Espargaro, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Photo by: Bridgestone Corporation

The 7th fastest time was set by GO&Fun Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista with a best lap time of 1m 33.006s while Aleix Espargaro was a little off the pace on the NGM Forward Racing Yamaha to set the 8th best lap of 1m 33.015s. Dani Pedrosa was an uncharacteristic 9th fastest today with the Repsol Honda rider securing the final place on the third row just .035s ahead of Monster Energy Tech 3 rider Bradley Smith. The final two places on the fourth row went to Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) with a best lap of 1m 33.102s and the Ducati Team rider Cal Crutchlow with a 1m 33.315s lap time.

Nicky Hayden heads row five with the Drive M7 Aspar rider’s 1m 33.859s lap enough to start ahead of Yonny Hernandez (Energy TI Pramac Racing) and Colin Edwards for the NGM Forward Racing squad and Edwards’ best time of 1m 34.203s was good enough to see him starting ahead of Scott Redding (GO&Fun Honda Gresini) who set a best time of 1m 34.233s. Hiroshi Aoyama starts from 17th tomorrow for the Drive M7 Aspar team while Karel Abraham set a best lap of 1m 34.880s for the Cardion AB Motoracing team to start from 18th.

The final positions went to Hector Barbera for the Avintia Racing team starting from 19th with Paul Bird Motorsport teammates Broc Parkes and Michael Laverty in 20th and 21st positions respectively and starting from 22nd will be Mike Di Meglio for the Avintia racing team with a best time of 1m 36.163s.

Speaking afterwards Marquez said, "I'm very happy to be on pole and also with the gap between myself and second place on the timesheet. Tomorrow will be interesting as my main rivals - Dani, Jorge and Valentino - are not on the front row but on rows two and three. However, I know they will be there in the battle and we must be prepared. Starting from pole is an advantage and I will try to capitalize from it and give 100% - as always - to fight for the win!”

Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team

Photo by: Ducati Corse

Thrilled with grabbing his first ever front row start, espargaro was delighted in saying, “I am flying high right now, and am really happy and proud that I was able to produce this lap at the team’s home race. This is very important for me, as the team and I have done a lot of work during the preseason and for the first few rounds, so this qualifying result is like a small victory. The race will still be a challenge, as there are many laps and not just one however I am confident with my pace. For sure, the factory riders may seem faster and have more experience, but starting from the front will still be a big advantage for me compared to the other races so far. I intend to fight whilst trying to learn as much as possible, and I feel like I can clinch a great result for the team and it would be perfect to go home with plenty of championship points in my pocket. I will make the most of the start and see what I can do.”

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About this article
Series MOTOGP
Event French GP
Article type Qualifying reports
Tags dovizioso, ducati, espargaro, featured, hatch, honda, le mans, marquez