Record breaking Lorenzo claims Le Mans pole

Jorge Lorenzo

Jorge Lorenzo

Jorge Lorenzo posted the fastest ever MotoGP lap at Le Mans on his way to pole position for the French Grand Prix.

The Movistar Yamaha rider became the first man to lap the Bugatti circuit in the 1:31s as the reigning world champion dominated qualifying.

Marc Marquez was beaten to pole at Le Mans for the first time in his premier class career but will start from second, while Andrea Iannone completed the front row despite a mid-session fall.

The practice form guide suggested Lorenzo was the man to beat and the Spaniard immediately laid down the fastest lap of the weekend before going quicker again.

After a minor off at Garage Vert, the defending world champion sizzled to a record breaking 1:31.975s with the chequered flag flying.

“I’m very happy with this track record and with pole position,” said Lorenzo.

“We worked very hard to improve all the small details in all the corners.

“Finally the bike was able to keep a constant pace and also ready to make very fast lap times.”

Marquez jumped to second just moments later on his Repsol Honda, having sat only fifth after the first runs thanks to a similar error to Lorenzo at Garage Vert.

That lap dislodged Iannone, who had moved into second. The Ducati rider was unable to improve thereafter due to a fall on the out lap ahead of his second run.

Iannone blamed the incident on a water pump failure which leaked onto his tyres, but nevertheless he claimed a first front row start since Australia last year.

Pol Espargaro, Andrea Dovizioso, and Bradley Smith made up the second row, while Valentino Rossi could only manage seventh and Pedrosa 11th.

Danilo Petrucci qualified 10th in his return from injury but did suffer a late fall, while Aleix Espargaro made no advance on progressing from Q1 and will start 12th.

Australia’s Jack Miller will start 18th aboard the Marc VDS Honda.

Sunday’s 28-lap race will start at 2200 AEST.

Result: MotoGP French Grand Prix Qualifying

Position Rider Team Time Gap
1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1:31.975s
2 Marc Marquez Honda 1:32.416s +0.441s
3 Andrea Iannone Ducati 1:32.469s +0.494s
4 Pol Espargaro Tech3 Yamaha 1:32.502s +0.527s
5 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1:32.587s +0.612s
6 Bradley Smith Tech3 Yamaha 1:32.820s +0.845s
7 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1:32.829s +0.854s
8 Maverick Vinales Suzuki 1:32.933s +0.958s
9 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 1:32.963s +0.988s
10 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati 1:33.102s +1.127s
11 Daniel Pedrosa Honda 1:33.109s +1.134s
12 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki 1:33.115s +1.140s
13 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati 1:33.291s +1.316s
14 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati 1:33.310s +1.335s
15 Yonny Hernandez Aspar Ducati 1:33.360s +1.385s
16 Eugene Laverty Aspar Ducati 1:33.452s +1.477s
17 Stefan Bradl Aprilia 1:34.003s +2.028s
18 Jack Miller Marc VDS Honda 1:34.049s +2.074s
19 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 1:34.333s +2.358s
20 Tito Rabat Marc VDS Honda 1:34.348s +2.373s
21 Loris Baz Avintia Ducati 1:34.455s +2.480s

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