17 Jul
Event finished
24 Jul
Event finished
07 Aug
Warm Up in
13 Hours
13 Minutes
24 Seconds
Austrian GP
14 Aug
FP1 in
5 days
Styrian GP
21 Aug
Next event in
12 days
San Marino GP
10 Sep
Next event in
32 days
Emilia-Romagna GP
18 Sep
Next event in
40 days
25 Sep
Next event in
47 days
09 Oct
Next event in
61 days
Aragon GP
16 Oct
Next event in
68 days
Teruel GP
23 Oct
Next event in
75 days
European GP
06 Nov
Next event in
89 days
Valencia GP
13 Nov
Next event in
96 days

Le Mans MotoGP: Zarco scorches to home pole

Le Mans MotoGP: Zarco scorches to home pole
May 19, 2018, 1:00 PM

Tech 3 Yamaha rider Johann Zarco will start his home MotoGP race from pole after beating Marc Marquez to top a frenetic qualifying session at Le Mans.

A last-ditch lap of 1m31.185s - a new MotoGP track record around the Bugatti circuit - was enough for Zarco to claim his second pole of the season and the fourth of his fledgling premier class career.

The Frenchman led the opening runs with a time of 1m31.645s, putting him within a whisker of Maverick Vinales' FP3 benchmark, itself a new record until it was beaten by several riders in qualifying.

First to go underneath that marker was Jorge Lorenzo on a 1m31.590s, before Marquez posted a 1m31.315s moments later to snatch the top spot away from the Ducati rider.

But Zarco then managed to go 0.130s faster on his final lap aboard his two-year-old Yamaha, with Honda man Marquez only managing a marginal improvement on his last tour to end up 0.108s down.

Q1 pacesetter Danilo Petrucci (Pramac) surged to third place on the best of the Ducatis, 0.196s slower than Zarco, ahead of lead Suzuki rider Andrea Iannone.

Factory Ducati pair Andrea Dovizioso and Lorenzo complete the second row ahead of another Ducati rider, Jack Miller on Pramac's year-old machine.

Works Yamaha duo Vinales and Valentino Rossi only managed eighth and ninth respectively, neither getting within half a second of Zarco.

Completing the Q2 order were Dani Pedrosa, the other rider to progress from Q1, Tito Rabat (Avintia Ducati) and Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro, who crashed at the Dunlop chicane.

Q1: Crutchlow suffers nasty crash

Petrucci and Pedrosa were the two fastest men in Q1, but the opening session ended on a sour note as Cal Crutchlow suffered a huge high-side crash at the Garage Vert double right-hander.

The LCR Honda rider was flung from his bike and high into the air as it went sideways exiting the corner, before landing awkwardly on his back. He was taken away on a stretcher, but gave the crowd a thumbs-up before he was placed in the back of an ambulance.

Crutchlow had been third-fastest before his crash, meaning he will start Sunday's race from 13th – if he is deemed fit to compete – ahead of Tech 3's Hafizh Syahrin and the second Suzuki of Alex Rins.

The two KTMs only managed 17th and 18th places, Bradley Smith leading Pol Espargaro, who crashed along with both Aspar Ducati men Alvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham.

Scott Redding's miserable weekend continued as he qualified 22nd on the second Aprilia.

Results to follow

Q2 results:

1 5 france Johann Zarco  Yamaha 1'31.185  
2 93 spain Marc Marquez  Honda 1'31.293 0.108
3 9 italy Danilo Petrucci  Ducati 1'31.381 0.196
4 29 italy Andrea Iannone  Suzuki 1'31.454 0.269
5 4 italy Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati 1'31.553 0.368
6 99 spain Jorge Lorenzo  Ducati 1'31.590 0.405
7 43 australia Jack Miller  Ducati 1'31.683 0.498
8 25 spain Maverick Viñales  Yamaha 1'31.784 0.599
9 46 italy Valentino Rossi  Yamaha 1'31.900 0.715
10 26 spain Dani Pedrosa  Honda 1'32.024 0.839
11 53 spain Tito Rabat  Ducati 1'32.049 0.864
12 41 spain Aleix Espargaro  Aprilia 1'32.455 1.270

Q1 results:

Q2 9 italy Danilo Petrucci  Ducati 1'31.818  
Q2 26 spain Dani Pedrosa  Honda 1'32.061 0.243
13 35 united_kingdom Cal Crutchlow  Honda 1'32.315 0.497
14 55 malaysia Hafizh Syahrin  Yamaha 1'32.397 0.579
15 42 spain Alex Rins  Suzuki 1'32.401 0.583
16 21 italy Franco Morbidelli  Honda 1'32.770 0.952
17 38 united_kingdom Bradley Smith  KTM 1'32.795 0.977
18 44 spain Pol Espargaro  KTM 1'32.988 1.170
19 30 japan Takaaki Nakagami  Honda 1'33.062 1.244
20 19 spain Alvaro Bautista  Ducati 1'33.324 1.506
21 12 switzerland Thomas Luthi  Honda 1'33.439 1.621
22 45 united_kingdom Scott Redding  Aprilia 1'33.676 1.858
23 10 belgium Xavier Simeon  Ducati 1'33.802 1.984
24 17 czech_republic Karel Abraham  Ducati 1'33.839 2.021
Bartholemy removed from Marc VDS team boss role

Previous article

Bartholemy removed from Marc VDS team boss role

Next article

Vinales wishes Le Mans MotoGP race was at 9am

Vinales wishes Le Mans MotoGP race was at 9am
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Event French GP
Location Le Mans Circuit Bugatti
Drivers Johann Zarco
Teams Tech 3
Author Jamie Klein