MotoGP Le Mans: Jorge Lorenzo takes first French GP pole position

Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo claimed MotoGP pole position at Le Mans for the first time, in qualifying for the French Grand Prix

MotoGP Le Mans: Jorge Lorenzo takes first French GP pole position

While the three-time world champion has won the French GP on four occasions, including in 2015, he had never started from pole in the premier class.

He changed that on Saturday afternoon, setting the fastest MotoGP lap recorded at the circuit, a 1m31.975s.

Lorenzo set the early pace with a 1m32.437s on his opening lap, then improved again to 1m32.236s later on his first run.

In the dying minutes, he went faster again with his 1m31.975s to take his 37th MotoGP pole.

His Yamaha team-mate and Jerez winner Valentino Rossi could only manage seventh on the grid, 0.854 seconds behind Lorenzo.

Honda's Marc Marquez jumped up from seventh to second on his final lap to finish the session as Lorenzo's closest challenger, 0.441s adrift.

Andrea Iannone ensured three different manufacturers will start from the front row of the grid, despite crashing his Ducati on his outlap for the final run.

Iannone reported that a water pump issue put water on the rear tyre, and while he was able to get back on track, he could not improve and lost a place to Marquez in the order.

Pol Espargaro maintained his form as the weekend's leading satellite rider, qualifying fourth, with Tech3 Yamaha team-mate Bradley Smith a season-best sixth, the pair split by Andrea Dovizioso on the second Ducati.

Maverick Vinales was eighth for Suzuki, ahead of Cal Crutchlow and Danilo Petrucci - who progressed from Q1 but crashed at the end of the main session - and Dani Pedrosa.

Honda rider Pedrosa crashed at Turn 4 midway through the session, but got back to his garage in time to rejoin the session on his second bike.

STARTING GRID

Pos Rider Team Bike Time Gap
1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Yamaha 1m31.975s -
2 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 1m32.416s 0.441s
3 Andrea Iannone Ducati Ducati 1m32.469s 0.494s
4 Pol Espargaro Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 1m32.502s 0.527s
5 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 1m32.587s 0.612s
6 Bradley Smith Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 1m32.820s 0.845s
7 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 1m32.829s 0.854s
8 Maverick Vinales Suzuki Suzuki 1m32.933s 0.958s
9 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 1m32.963s 0.988s
10 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m33.102s 1.127s
11 Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda 1m33.109s 1.134s
12 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki Suzuki 1m33.115s 1.140s
13 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m33.291s 1.316s
14 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m33.310s 1.335s
15 Yonny Hernandez Aspar Ducati Ducati 1m33.360s 1.385s
16 Eugene Laverty Aspar Ducati Ducati 1m33.452s 1.477s
17 Stefan Bradl Aprilia Aprilia 1m34.003s 2.028s
18 Jack Miller Marc VDS Honda Honda 1m34.049s 2.074s
19 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia Aprilia 1m34.333s 2.358s
20 Tito Rabat Marc VDS Honda Honda 1m34.348s 2.373s
21 Loris Baz Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m34.455s 2.480s


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