Marquez steals the limelight with second MotoGP pole position

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Repsol Honda rider tops the timesheets ahead of Lorenzo and Dovizioso

Marc Marquez bounced back from a fall in the final practice session ahead of the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France at the Le Mans Bugatti circuit to take his second ever MotoGP pole position with the Repsol Honda rider setting the fastest time ahead of his fellow countryman, Jorge Lorenzo and the Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 while shocking the whole MotoGP paddock was Andrea Dovizioso who surged into a third place start for the Ducati Team.

Qualifying went very well. Tomorrow we will try to give 100%

Marc Marquez

With practice and qualifying taking place under overcast weather conditions the track temperature affected the riders somewhat with a high amount of low-side crashes taking place with both Marquez and his teammate going down at the same turn, however while Marquez’ was able to get out into Q2 without any problems and eventually setting a best time of 1m 33.187s, Pedrosa wasn’t as lucky and fell during the main qualifying session and was pushed down to a 6th place starting position. Lorenzo set a 1m 33.217s ahead of Dovizioso’s 1m 33.603s.

Cal Crutchlow starts from 4th position for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team setting a best lap time of 1m 33.609s despite having a fall earlier today. LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl secured a 5th place start with a best lap of 1m 33.634s while Alvaro Bautista (GO&Fun Honda Gresini) starts once place behind Pedrosa with a best time of 1m 33.984s. Valentino Rossi had a bad day at the office with the Italian rider slumping to an 8th place start for the Yamaha Factory Racing team with a 1m 34.009s lap with Bradley Smith close behind with a best time of 1m 34.222s. Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) set the 10th fastest time of 1m 34.242s

The final two riders to make it into Q2 were the Power Elecronics Aspar teammates Aleix Espargaro and Randy De Puniet who will start from 11th and 12th respectively tomorrow. Starting from 13th place will be the Energy TI Pramac Racing rider Andre Iannone (1m 35.062s) with stand in rider Michele Pirro impressing once again on the same machine (1m 35.228s). Hector Barbera starts from 15th place for the Avintia Blusens team with a 1m 35.714s lap that was good enough to see the Spaniard start ahead of Danilo Petrucci on the Came IodaRacing Project machine setting a best lap of 1m 35.770s

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Yamaha MotoGP

Colin Edwards starts from 17th tomorrow for the NGM Forward Racing team with a best time of 1m 36.221s while Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham once place behind with a best time of 1m 36.271s and the Czech rider will start ahead of Claudio Corti (NGM Forward Racing) who set a best time of 1m 36.330s to that of Paul Bird Motorsport’s Michael Laverty (1m 36.596s). Bryan Staring secured the 21st starting position for the GO&Fun Honda Gresini 1m 36.714s with Lukas Pesek close behind on the Came IodaRacing Project (1m 36.768s) and Yonny Hernandez next along for the Paul Bird Motorsport team setting a time of 1m 36.961s and Hiroshi Aoyama in 24th for the Avintia Blusens team with a best time of 1m 37.523s.

Speaking after sealing his second ever MotoGP pole position Marquez said, "Qualifying went very well. After FP3, in which we had a small front end crash and I lost my confidence a little, I was back on it immediately. It was hard to heat up the tires, but that was the same for everyone. I think that's the reason why there were so many crashes. I am very happy, because I think that we had a good session and have a good pace. Tomorrow we will try to give 100% and see if we are fortunate enough to have a dry race. If it is a wet one, then we just have to do as well as we can.”

Lorenzo is happy with his set up for tomorrow’s race, which could be affected by heavy rain. He said, “Our pace is very good, much better than Jerez where I did two laps and then in the third or fourth lap it was impossible to keep the same pace. Here in this track with the improvement we made with the bike it’s much more easy to keep a constant pace so I’m much more satisfied. I tried to make a perfect lap, it was ok, but Marc was just slightly faster than me. I don't know what will happen if it rains tomorrow because we haven’t tried it in the wet. Last year it was ok, but every year it’s different so I don't know what to expect. I would prefer a dry race. If it rains though it can be a possibility to recover some points if we don’t make a mistake.”

Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team

Photo by: Ducati Corse

Dovizioso was very happy with his third position start and that he closed the gap to the rest of the factory riders and said, “I’m pleased with the work we’ve done over the weekend because we’ve been consistently fast and we have the pace to do a good race—maybe not to finish on the podium but we’re much closer to the competition than we have been at other tracks. I was surprised to do a 1:33.6, as I didn’t think I’d be able to do that, but it was a beautiful feeling. Although I know it will be a difficult race, I still hope that it’ll be dry tomorrow; those are the conditions that we’ve practiced in and we’re pretty fast. Still, it shouldn’t be a big problem even if it rains, as it seems that our GP13 works well in the wet."

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About this article
Series MOTOGP
Article type Qualifying report
Tags dovizioso, featured, hatch, honda, le mans, lorenzo, marquez, repsol, yamaha