Le Mans - Marc Marquez stormed to pole position for Sunday's French MotoGP with
a qualifying lap over half a second quicker than his grid rivals at Le
Mans on Saturday.
Honda's two-time Spanish world champion posted a
flying lap of 1:32.246. Second place went to Andrea Dovizioso
with former two-time titleholder Jorge Lorenzo's Yamaha in third.
rider Cal Crutchlow starts from fourth ahead of Andrea Iannone, another
Briton Bradley Smith, with championship leader Valentino Rossi only
Marquez, hoping for a dominant performance this weekend
to climb up the Rossi-led standings from fourth after an indifferent
start to his third season, coped best with a greasy track surface after
heavy rain during the earlier practice sessions.
rider who has recovered from a broken pinky finger suffered in the run
up to the last race in Jerez topped the times despite a slide at the
tenth turn on his first run.
This was his second pole of the season after Argentina and his 25th in only 40 MotoGP races.
tried lots of things during free practice to finally get the right
settings for qualifying. The track was drying out," said the Honda star,
who is trailing Rossi by 26 points in the title battle.
He added: "My little finger is practically back to normal and in any event I won't be able to use it as an excuse."
MotoGP grid for Sunday's French Motorcycling Grand Prix after qualifying on Saturday at Le Mans:
1. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) 1min 32.246sec, 2. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) at 0.503sec, 3. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Yamaha) 0.600, 4. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Honda LCR) 0.651, 5. Andrea Iannone (ITA/Ducati) 0.755, 6. Bradley Smith (GBR/Yamaha Tech3) 1.053, 7. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 1.106, 8. Dani Pedrosa (ESP/Honda) 1.173, 9. Danilo Petrucci (ITA/Ducati Pramac) 1.310, 10. Aleix Espargaro (ESP/Suzuki) 1.419, 11. Yonny Hernandez (COL/Ducati Pramac) 1.468, 12. Pol Espargaro (ESP/Yamaha Tech3) 1.478