MotoGP Qualifying Results From The Grand Prix Of France

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez claims pole position in the final qualifying session at the French GP.

The MotoGP pole position changed hands several times during the final session, but Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez dropped his time to 1'32.246 to take his third pole position of the year. The current World Champion clearly sees Jorge Lorenzo as a threat: "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!"

Lorenzo says the Movistar Yamaha YZR-M1 can do better: "The conditions were difficult on the track, you have to be careful with slicks and stay confident. We were lucky on the last lap to have 99% of the track dry and I pushed quite a bit. It was a pity that I didn‘t ride any good laps and was slower than I was in FP3. I made a mistake in sector three and lost probably half a second, but I was lucky not to go outside of the track and ride a very good sector four, which put me on the first row.”

Ducati Team's Andrea Dovizioso was satisfied with a front row start, but also believes he has more pace to extract: "The front row is fine and it is also very important because in MotoGP it's always essential to start as far up the grid as possible. I could probably have been a bit closer to Marquez and try and go for pole, but in any case I set a good lap time".

The second row will be headed by Cal Crutchlow (CWM LCR Honda) in the fourth grid spot next to Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone, still recovering after dislocating his shoulder during testing in Mugello, in fifth. Crutchlow, 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.   Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) will start seventh in the attempt to defend his lead in the championship standings. His main rivals, Marquez and Lorenzo, will start the race way ahead on the front row, so his chances will lie in choosing the right tyre and an aggressive initial push to avoid losing the front runners.

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 8th on the grid and he appears happy with his pace: "This first qualifying session back has not gone badly. We could have gone a little faster but in the end I didn't quite manage it. The positive news is that today I am feeling a little better physically than yesterday and that's a good thing!”

Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Racing) and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro both made the jump up from Q1 at Le Mans. They will start Sunday’s race in the ninth and tenth positions, respectively, on the grid. Row four is completed by Yonny Hernández (Pramac Racing) and Pol Espargaró (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in the 11th and 12th starting positions.

American Nicky Hayden made it to the 14th starting position on the Aspar Team Honda. His fifth-row start is his best of the year so far and also the top open class bike on the grid.

QUALIFYING RESULTS

  1. Marc MARQUEZ (93), Repsol Honda Team HONDA
  2. Andrea DOVIZIOSO (4) Ducati Team DUCATI
  3. Jorge LORENZO (99) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YAMAHA
  4. Cal CRUTCHLOW (35) CWM LCR Honda HONDA
  5. Andrea IANNONE (29) Ducati Team DUCATI
  6. Bradley SMITH (38) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YAMAHA
  7. Valentino ROSSI (46) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YAMAHA
  8. Dani PEDROSA (26) Repsol Honda Team HONDA
  9. Danilo PETRUCCI (9) Pramac Racing DUCATI
  10. Aleix ESPARGARO (41) Team Suzuki Ecstar SUZUKI
  11. Yonny HERNANDEZ (68) Pramac Racing DUCATI
  12. Pol ESPARGARO (44) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YAMAHA
  13. Maverick VIÑALES (25) Team Suzuki Ecstar SUZUKI
  14. Nicky HAYDEN (69) Aspar MotoGP Team HONDA
  15. Scott REDDING (45) EG 0,0 Marc VDS HONDA
  16. Stefan BRADL (6) Athinà Forward Racing YAMAHA
  17. Mike DI MEGLIO (63) Avintia Racing DUCATI
  18. Jack MILLER (43) CWM LCR Honda HONDA
  19. Hector BARBERA (8) Avintia Racing DUCATI
  20. Karel ABRAHAM (17) AB Motoracing HONDA
  21. Eugene LAVERTY (50) Aspar MotoGP Team HONDA
  22. Loris BAZ (76) Athinà Forward Racing YAMAHA
  23. Alvaro BAUTISTA (19) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini APRILIA
  24. Alex DE ANGELIS (15) Octo IodaRacing Team ART
  25. Marco MELANDRI (33) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini APRILIA