Stefan Bradl Continues Pole Record At Le Mans

3 Mins read

Stefan Bradl's domination of qualifying in 2011 continued after the German took his fourth pole in four races at Le Mans.

The Viessman Kalex rider, who leads the championship by 13 points, got ahead of Aleix Espargaro with six minutes remaining and was never beaten, although it was far from a foregone conclusion.

The session was barely fifteen minutes old when Espargaro took provisional pole (1:38.560), usurping Marc Marquez, with Bradl just behind them in third. The front row remained unchanged until Bradl went out for his final run, going three hundredths quicker than the Pons HP 40 rider. With less than two minutes remaining, the German went even quicker, getting down to a 1:38.357.

It was fortunate that he had, as Thomas Luthi followed close behind with a lap that was just 0.045s slower, the Swiss rider continuing his record of having started on the front row at every race this season.

Yuki Takahashi will line up next to them after a last gasp flyer moved him up to third. The Japanese rider had been largely anonymous so far this weekend but delivered when it mattered most to put the Gresini Moriwaki on the front row.

Espargaro couldn't better his early effort and dropped back onto the second row, while Scott Redding produced his best qualifying performance so far this year in fifth. The Briton is yet to score a point this season but has a great chance to make up for lost time tomorrow.

The man who took him out two weeks ago at Estoril, Marc Marquez, will start alongside in sixth. The Spaniard will be ruing a mistake on his final qualifying lap when he went straight on at the turn nine/ten chicane, ruining a potential pole lap.

Stefan Bradl's two chief title rivals are back on the third row, with Simone Corsi eighth and Andrea Iannone ninth despite his best qualifying result of the year. Julian Simon pushed  Bradl all the way in Portugal and will be hoping for another strong race from ninth.

Dominique Aegerter will start tenth, a position initially held by Bradley Smith but the Oxford rider was caught up in an unfortunate incident with Axel Pons. The 20-year-old Spaniard lost control of his Kalex machine under braking for the Dunlop chicane, and his body made contact with the Mistral 610 as he slid down the road.

As long as he isn't too badly injured, Pons will start tomorrow's race from 14th, while Smith will have work to do from 17th. Kev Coghlan will start from the twelfth row of the grid after finishing today's session in 35th place.

Pos Rider Team Bike Lap Time Gap
1 Stefan Bradl Viessman Kiefer Racing Kalex 1:38.357  
2 Thomas Luthi Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Suter 1:38.402 +0.045
3 Yuki Takahashi Gresini Racing Moto2 Moriwaki 1:38.540 +0.183
4 Aleix Espargaro Pons HP 40 Pons Kalex 1:38.560 +0.203
5 Scott Redding Marc VDS Racing Team Suter 1:38.655 +0.298
6 Marc Marquez Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol Suter 1:38.679 +0.322
7 Simone Corsi Ioda Racing Project FTR 1:38.706 +0.349
8 Andrea Iannone Speed Master Suter 1:38.799 +0.442
9 Julian Simon Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter 1:38.819 +0.462
10 Dominique Aegerter Technomag-CIP Suter 1:38.849 +0.492
11 Jules Cluzel NGM Forward Racing Suter 1:39.005 +0.648
12 Alex de Angelis JIR Moto2 Motobi 1:39.031 +0.674
13 Michele Pirro Gresini Racing Moto2 Moriwaki 1:39.064 +0.707
14 Axel Pons Pons HP 40 Pons Kalex 1:39.122 +0.765
15 Mattia Pasini Ioda Racing Project FTR 1:39.138 +0.781
16 Randy Krummenacher GP Team Switzerland Kiefer Racing Kalex 1:39.221 +0.864
17 Bradley Smith Tech 3 Racing Tech 3 1:39.223 +0.866
18 Ratthapark Wilairot Thai Honda Singha SAG FTR 1:39.394 +1.037
19 Pol Espargaro HP Tuenti Speed Up FTR 1:39.481 +1.124
20 Max Neukirchner MZ Racing Team MZ-RE Honda 1:39.485 +1.128
21 Raffaele de Rosa Desguaces La Torre G22 Moriwaki 1:39.491 +1.134
22 Esteve Rabat Blusens-STX FTR 1:39.542 +1.185
23 Mika Kallio Marc VDS Racing Team Suter 1:39.561 +1.204
24 Javier Fores Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter 1:39.576 +1.219
25 Kenan Sofuoglu Technomag-CIP Suter 1:39.655 +1.298
26 Alex Baldolini NGM Forward Racing Suter 1:39.689 +1.332
27 Mike Di Meglio Tech 3 Racing Tech 3 1:39.809 +1.452
28 Claudio Corti Italtrans Racing Team Suter 1:39.849 +1.492
29 Ricard Cardus QMMF Racing Team Moriwaki 1:39.916 +1.559
30 Yonny Hernandez Blusens-STX FTR 1:39.917 +1.560
31 Xavier Simeon Tech 3 B Tech 3 1:39.949 +1.592
32 Robertino Pietri Italtrans Racing Team Suter 1:39.987 +1.630
33 Anthony West MZ Racing Team MZ-RE Honda 1:40.016 +1.659
34 Kenny Noyes Avintia-STX FTR 1:40.361 +2.004
35 Kev Coghlan Aeroport de Castello FTR 1:40.639 +2.282
36 Santiago Hernandez SAG Team FTR 1:40.641 +2.284
37 Valentin Debise Speed Up FTR 1:40.774 +2.417
38 Alex Cudlin QMMF Racing Team Moriwaki 1:41.666 +3.309
39 Mashel Al Naimi QMMF Racing Team Moriwaki 1:41.875 +3.518
40 Steven Odendaal MS Racing Suter 1:41.897 +3.540
107% Time: 1:45.242
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