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%
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
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.”