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Marc Marquez continues Moto2 pole run despite Le Mans crash

Marc MarquezMarc Marquez claimed his third consecutive Moto2 pole position despite falling as rain effectively brought qualifying at Le Mans to an early conclusion.

The Spaniard, yet to start lower than second in 2012, rose to the top almost immediately after the session began, and soon dropped down to a 1m37.710s.

Fifteen minutes into the session he lost the front at Turn 8, sliding into the gravel, but was able to rejoin with help from marshals and returned to the pits for repairs.

With Marquez in the pits the session seemed to be building to a final shoot-out, especially when Paddock Suter's Thomas Luthi - the only other rider to have been on pole this year - got to within 0.029 seconds of Marquez.

Any prospect of a final flurry was spoiled however as rain fell with five minutes of the session remaining, effectively freezing the order and handing Marquez his third pole in the opening four races.

"It was so difficult - we knew at the end of practice it might start raining so we tried to push in the beginning," Marquez said. "When I crashed I braked too late, tried to go in anyway but it was too hard. I have a good feeling after going out again, and lapping well, so I think I can do a good race."

Luthi ended second, ahead of Marquez's nearest championship challenger Pol Espargaro (Pons Kalex) and Scott Redding (Marc VDS Kalex), the latter of whom also fell in the final minute.

Redding's stable-mate Mika Kallio was another to have a moment as conditions around the French circuit remained tricky, but he did enough to end sixth fastest behind Andrea Iannone (Speed Master).

Forward Suter's Alex de Angelis claimed seventh ahead of Johann Zarco (JIR Motobi) and Claudio Corti (Italtrans Kalex), with the latter pair finishing just over one second down on Marquez's best.

Toni Elias (Aspar Suter), a Moto2 racewinner at Le Mans in 2010, rounded out the top 10.

Pos  Rider                  Team/Bike              Time       Gap
 1.  Marc Marquez           Monlau Suter           1m37.710s
 2.  Thomas Luthi           Paddock Suter          1m37.739s  + 0.029s
 3.  Pol Espargaro          Pons Kalex             1m38.190s  + 0.480s
 4.  Scott Redding          Marc VDS Kalex         1m38.369s  + 0.659s
 5.  Mika Kallio            Marc VDS Kalex         1m38.399s  + 0.689s
 6.  Andrea Iannone         Speed Master Speed Up  1m38.574s  + 0.864s
 7.  Alex de Angelis        Forward Suter          1m38.662s  + 0.952s
 8.  Johann Zarco           JIR Motobi             1m38.752s  + 1.042s
 9.  Claudio Corti          Italtrans Kalex        1m38.795s  + 1.085s
10.  Toni Elias             Aspar Suter            1m38.826s  + 1.116s
11.  Julian Simon           Avintia FTR            1m38.827s  + 1.117s
12.  Dominique Aegerter     Technomag-CIP Suter    1m38.863s  + 1.153s
13.  Randy Krummenacher     Switzerland Kalex      1m38.880s  + 1.170s
14.  Simone Corsi           Ioda FTR               1m38.961s  + 1.251s
15.  Ricard Cardus          Arguinano AJR          1m39.061s  + 1.351s
16.  Axel Pons              Pons Kalex             1m39.105s  + 1.395s
17.  Nicolas Terol          Aspar Suter            1m39.229s  + 1.519s
18.  Esteve Rabat           Pons Kalex             1m39.258s  + 1.548s
19.  Bradley Smith          Tech 3                 1m39.301s  + 1.591s
20.  Yuki Takahashi         Forward Suter          1m39.315s  + 1.605s
21.  Xavier Simeon          Tech 3                 1m39.353s  + 1.643s
22.  Roberto Rolfo          Technomag-CIP Suter    1m39.414s  + 1.704s
23.  Mike di Meglio         Speed Master Speed Up  1m39.520s  + 1.810s
24.  Gino Rea               Gresini Moriwaki       1m39.796s  + 2.086s
25.  Takaaki Nakagami       Italtrans Kalex        1m39.797s  + 2.087s
26.  Alexander Lundh        MZ FTR                 1m39.924s  + 2.214s
27.  Max Neukirchner        Kiefer Kalex           1m40.120s  + 2.410s
28.  Anthony West           QMMF Moriwaki          1m40.573s  + 2.863s
29.  Ratthapark Wilairot    Gresini Moriwaki       1m40.784s  + 3.074s
30.  Angel Rodriguez        SAG FTR                1m41.443s  + 3.733s
31.  Elena Rosell           QMMF Moriwaki          1m41.634s  + 3.924s
32.  Marco Colandrea        SAG FTR                1m42.182s  + 4.472s

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