Impressive Marquez Claims French GP Pole

Marc Marquez produced a typically scintillating display to claim pole position for tomorrow’s French Grand Prix at Le Mans. The world champion had been quiet through free practice but unleashed some extraordinary performance from his Repsol Honda to outpace Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo by half a second.

A heavy downpour during Moto3 qualifying left a sodden race track for the premier class riders but persistent running during FP4 and Q1 managed to dry the surface in time for the pole position shootout. Cal Crutchlow felt comfortable the quickest with a 1:34.084 but Marquez immediately stamped his authority on proceedings with a 1:33.374 moments later, a time he would better by another four tenths before returning to the pits.

The Ducatis hadn’t shown their hand until Saturday practice with Andrea Iannone making a sizeable leap forward to secure his place in Q2 and despite dislocating his shoulder in midweek, the Italian matched Marquez’s time to go second two minutes from time. Andrea was soon demoted by ex-Ducati rider Cal Crutchlow after the Briton broke into the 1:32s but Marquez remained a long way ahead of the rest, improving to a 1:32.246 in the dying seconds.

Crutchlow wouldn’t hang onto a front row start with Dovizioso edging ahead by a tenth of a second while Jorge Lorenzo recovered from a mistake on his quickest lap to snatch third, half a tenth ahead of Crutchlow. Iannone will line up fifth with Friday pacesetter Bradley Smith securing a place on the second row in sixth.

Championship leader Valentino Rossi faces another uphill struggle tomorrow from seventh on the grid, especially with the second Repsol Honda of Dani Pedrosa alongside him, but no-one will be in for a tougher race than Aleix Espargaro who rode in agony following a horrendous highside in FP3. Despite the obvious pain, the Suzuki man produced a heroic ride to qualify tenth.



PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time 
193. Marc MarquezHondaRepsol Honda Team1:32.246Q2
24. Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati Team1:32.749Q2
399. Jorge LorenzoYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:32.846Q2
435. Cal CrutchlowHondaCWM LCR Honda1:32.897Q2
529. Andrea IannoneDucatiDucati Team1:33.001Q2
638. Bradley SmithYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:33.299Q2
746. Valentino RossiYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:33.352Q2
826. Dani PedrosaHondaRepsol Honda Team1:33.419Q2
99. Danilo PetrucciDucatiPramac Racing1:33.556Q2
1041. Aleix EspargaroSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR1:33.665Q2
1168. Yonny HernandezDucatiPramac Racing1:33.714Q2
1244. Pol EspargaroYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:33.724Q2
1325. Maverick VinalesSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR1:34.245Q1
1469. Nicky HaydenHondaAspar MotoGP Team1:34.267Q1
1545. Scott ReddingHondaEstrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS1:34.551Q1
166. Stefan BradlYamaha ForwardAthina Forward Racing1:34.575Q1
1763. Mike Di MeglioDucatiAvintia Racing1:34.833Q1
1843. Jack MillerHondaCWM LCR Honda1:34.858Q1
198. Hector BarberaDucatiAvintia Racing1:34.870Q1
2017. Karel AbrahamHondaAB Motoracing1:34.940Q1
2150. Eugene LavertyHondaAspar MotoGP Team1:34.947Q1
2276. Loris BazYamaha ForwardAthina Forward Racing1:35.456Q1
2319. Alvaro BautistaApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:35.458Q1
2415. Alex de AngelisARTOcto IodaRacing Team1:35.680Q1
2533. Marco MelandriApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:37.522Q1