Bagnaia, Miller in Ducati qualifying one-two at French MotoGP

Francesco Bagnaia (left) and Jack Miller (right). Picture:

Francesco Bagnaia has taken pole position while Jack Miller made it a factory Ducati one-two in qualifying for the French MotoGP.

Joining the Ducati Lenovo Team duo on the front row at Le Mans will be Aprilia Racing’s Aleix Espargaro, while championship leader Fabio Quartararo was fourth-fastest on his Monster Energy Yamaha.

The fight for pole had essentially been a duel between Bagnaia and Quartararo a fortnight earlier at Jerez, and it was shaping up to be much the same at Le Mans.

The Yamaha man held sway at the end of the first runs of Qualifying 2 with a 1:30.688s, 0.011s up on his chief Ducati rival, while Miller sat seventh on a 1:31.314s.

On his second flyer back out of the pits, however, Bagnaia charged to an All Time Lap Record 1:30.450s, and towed his Australian team-mate to a 1:30.519s in the process.

Quartararo had no improvement on his opening run, and would be nudged off the front row when Aleix Espargaro set a 1:30.609s on his final lap.

Joining ‘El Diablo’ on the second row will be Gresini Ducati rider Enea Bastianini and Suzuki Ecstar’s Joan Mir.

Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati) had qualified sixth-fastest but was slapped with a three-position grid penalty for impeding Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) late in the session.

Row 3 will therefore be headed up by Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar), from Jorge Martin (Pramac Ducati) and Zarco, with Row 4 comprised of Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), Pol Espargaro, and Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu LCR Honda).

Martin and Mir had come from Qualifying 1, in which Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Ducati) missed the top two by 0.007s.

Bezzecchi, who sprayed off the track and through the gravel at Turn 1 earlier in the session, is therefore set to start from 13th, while Tech3 KTM duo Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez qualifying 22nd and 24th respectively.

Race start is scheduled for Sunday at 22:00 AEST.

Qualifying: French MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap 1st/prev Session
1 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:30.450   Q2
2 43 Jack MILLER AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:30.519 0.069/0.069 Q2
3 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:30.609 0.159/0.090 Q2
4 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:30.688 0.238/0.079 Q2
5 23 Enea BASTIANINI ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1:30.711 0.261/0.023 Q2
6 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Pramac Racing Ducati 1:30.863 0.413/0.152 Q2
7 36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:30.943 0.493/0.080 Q2
8 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:30.977 0.527/0.034 Q2
9 89 Jorge MARTIN ESP Pramac Racing Ducati 1:31.068 0.618/0.091 Q2
10 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:31.148 0.698/0.080 Q2
11 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:31.526 1.076/0.378 Q2
12 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1:31.595 1.145/0.069 Q2
13 72 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1:30.940 0.136 Q1
14 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:31.271 0.467/0.331 Q1
15 10 Luca MARINI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1:31.363 0.559/0.092 Q1
16 49 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1:31.487 0.683/0.124 Q1
17 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:31.547 0.743/0.060 Q1
18 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:31.610 0.806/0.063 Q1
19 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:31.617 0.813/0.007 Q1
20 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1:31.618 0.814/0.001 Q1
21 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 1:31.763 0.959/0.145 Q1
22 87 Remy GARDNER AUS Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:31.820 1.016/0.057 Q1
23 40 Darryn BINDER RSA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1:32.596 1.792/0.776 Q1
24 25 Raul FERNANDEZ ESP Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:32.767 1.963/0.171 Q1

Note: Zarco three-position grid penalty

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