News 17 May 2015

Marquez surges to Le Mans MotoGP pole position

Miller to start from 18th position at Grand Prix of France.

Source: MotoGP.

Source: MotoGP.

The final qualifying session of the Monster Energy Grand Prix sees Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) back in pole position for the third time this season.

Marquez was over half a second quicker than Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), with Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) left to take third place on the front row in Sunday’s race.

The pole position changed hands several times during the final round, but Marquez dropped his time to 1’32.246 to take his third pole position of the year.

The current world champion clearly sees Lorenzo as a threat though: “In qualifying we used the best setup that we had found. We were lucky that the track was in good condition, which allowed me to ride normally.

“I am happy with pole position and tomorrow a tough race awaits us, because Jorge especially has a very good pace. We will try to be as close to him as we can!”

The second row will be headed by Cal Crutchlow (CWM LCR Honda). The Isle of Man-based Midlander has remained among the fastest in the weekend’s practice sessions.

His position also places him as the best satellite rider, ahead of fellow countryman Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), who was sixth after leading FP2 on Friday.

Between Crutchlow and Smith, Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) managed a creditable fifth. As we have seen in Free Practice, the rider is positively recovering after dislocating his shoulder during testing in Mugello.

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) will start seventh in the attempt to defend his lead in the championship standings.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) continues his comeback after undergoing surgery to solve the problems in his right forearm. Tomorrow he starts from a respectable eighth on the grid and he appears happy with his pace.

American Nicky Hayden was first of the Open class runners in 14th position, while Aussie rookie Jack Miller will start from 18th place on the grid.

The qualifying session of the Moto2 World Championship at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France has left Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) in a very different position to that he faced after his unfortunate fall on the last lap of the Jerez GP just two weeks ago.

The Spanish rider has extensive experience on the French track, having finished on the podium there in his three appearances at the circuit as Moto3 rider. Now, his first pole position in Moto2 comes in just his fifth outing in the championship.

The front row will be completed by two other Moto2 protagonists of 2015. Sam Lowes (Speed Up Racing) returns to the spotlight after a poor performance in Jerez, where he failed to score. This afternoon at Le Mans, he qualified second after equaling Rins’ lead time but losing out when it came to their second-best efforts.

Despite qualifying just 0.951s outside of Rins’ pole time, Queenslander Anthony West will start from position 17th for the QMMF Racing Team.

The French rookie rider Fabio Quartaro takes pole for the second consecutive time this season under difficult conditions ahead of his home crowd, while Danny Kent languishes in the rear of the starting grid.

Before qualifying started rain threatened, making it vital to get out on track quickly and take advantage of dry conditions in case the weather worsened.

As soon as the session opened, riders took to the track in a hurry and set to work, hunting for an early hot lap. Quartararo and teammate Jorge Navarro Estrella Galicia 0’0 immediately took the two top positions of the standings.

As feared, the rain increased and shortly after both riders crashed out on the same curve, followed by Jorge Martin (Mapfre Aspar Mahindra). The lap times of the two Estrella Galicia 0’0 teammates would not be beaten.

Although Kent (Leopard Racing) once again dominated the first two free practice sessions and clearly has what it takes to be fast at Le Mans, he will start from 30th on the grid after an unfortunate tactical error in QP.

Like countryman Ant West in Moto2, Remy Gardner will start from 17th in the Moto3 race after setting a best lap 2.408s off the pole-setting time of Quartararo.

Click here for detailed results