Rookie Marquez On Pole In France
LE MANS, France – Marc Marquez collected his second career MotoGP pole position Saturday on the Bugatti Circuit within Circuit de la Sarthe.
The championship leader beat defending title holder Jorge Lorenzo by just three hundredths of a second as Andrea Dovizioso celebrated his first front row for Ducati Team. Jerez winner Dani Pedrosa will start sixth after crashing.
The majority of those in the paddock expected rainfall for qualifying, but this was not the case as a steady breeze graced the historic Le Mans venue.
Delivering an impressive lap time of 1:33.187, Marquez looked to have convincingly sealed his second pole after Texas but was challenged hard by Lorenzo. With Dovizioso taking his first front row since Malaysia 2012, today’s result also marks the first time that the Honda, Yamaha and Ducati factory outfits have shared Row 1 since Spain 2012.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow came back from a heavy crash at La Chapelle in final practice to achieve the fourth best grid spot and will share the second row with LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl and the aforementioned Pedrosa, who was forced to rush back to the pits with less than 10 minutes to go after repeating an error made by Repsol Honda Team partner Marquez (but in final practice for the latter) and falling at turn three. He eventually missed out on the top spot by half a second.