Magic Marquez secures second MotoGP pole at Le Mans

Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez

Honda’s Marc Marquez continues to impress in his debut MotoGP season after securing pole position for the French Grand Prix at Le Mans.

The Spaniard, who leads the championship, suffered a fall in free practice but it did little to dent his confidence, as he stormed to pole position in overcast conditions. Rival Jorge Lorenzo pushed hard and was just a hundredth of a second shy in second for Yamaha while a stunning effort late on from Andrea Dovizioso secured Ducati a spot on the front row in third.

The 15-minute session began with Lorenzo setting the initial pace from Tech 1 Yamaha’s Cal Cruthlow, who made a strong start posting a time good enough for a provisional second spot. Honda’s Dani Pedrosa soon eclipsed the Brit but his session was then interrupted by a fall at turn one. He rushed back to the pits to grab the second bike and rejoined the fray.

Marquez held fourth spot during the early stages before he lit up the timing screens with eight minutes remaining, posting a 1:33.187s lap to grab provisional pole.

Further down the grid the action was just as entertaining with Bradley Smith moving into eighth position and Stefan Bradl slotting into fourth.

As time ticked towards the chequered flag, Lorenzo regrouped and he set a time just a hundredth adrift of Marquez and continued to push. Despite putting everything on the line, he couldn’t deny Marquez from taking his second pole position of the season.

However, arguably the performance of the session came from Dovizioso as he managed to squeeze everything out of his Ducati to secure third place at the chequered flag.

Crutchlow grabbed fourth late on with a time just a couple of hundredths ahead of Bradl and the recovering Pedrosa. Alvaro Bautista will start from seventh ahead of a quiet Valentino Rossi with Smith ninth fastest in front of Ducati’s Nicky Hayden.

Alex Espargaro and local rider Randy De Puniet were 11th and 12th respectively after progressing from qualifying one.

Australia’s Bryan Staring will line up in 21st position on the Honda Gresini CRT machine.

Results – qualifying Q2

1 Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1:33.187s

2 Jorge Lorenzo ESP Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 1:33.217s

3 Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (GP13) 1:33.603s

4 Cal Crutchlow GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1:33.609s

5 Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 1:33.634s

6 Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1:33.639s

7 Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 1:33.984s

8 Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 1:34.009s

9 Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1:34.222s

10 Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Team (GP13) 1:34.242s

11 Alex Espargaro ESP Power Electronics Aspar (ART CRT) 1:34.754s

12 Randy De Puniet FRA Power Electronics Aspar (ART CRT) 1:35.086s


13 Andrea Iannone ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing (GP13) 1:35.062s

14 Michele Pirro ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing (GP13) 1:35.228s

15 Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 1:35.714s

16 Danilo Petrucci ITA Came IodaRacing Project (Suter-BMW CRT)* 1:35.770s

17 Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 1:36.221s

18 Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (ART CRT) 1:36.271s

19 Claudio Corti ITA NGM Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 1:36.330s

20 Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART CRT)* 1:36.596s

21 Bryan Staring AUS Go&Fun Honda Gresini (FTR-Honda CRT) 1:36.714s

22 Lukas Pesek CZE Came IodaRacing Project (Suter-BMW CRT)* 1:36.768s

23 Yonny Hernandez COL Paul Bird Motorsport (ART CRT) 1:36.961s

24 Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 1:37.523s

* Standard ECU.


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