Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo dominated the MotoGP qualifying session at Le Mans, to storm to his first pole position at the French circuit. Not only that, he set a new out-right lap record at the track with a stellar 1’31.975, going quicker than Marc Marquez’s record from 2014.
The Repsol Honda rider will start from the front row in second but was 0.4s shy off the best lap set by his fellow Spanish rider, with Lorenzo lapping his best time on the medium front and soft rear tyre compounds.
The quickest rider in FP3, Ducati’s Andrea Iannone crashed at turn 12 on his out lap with only four minutes on the clock, but he had already done enough to stay on the front row. But the Italian
did run back to the garage to finish the session in style with a 1’32.469.
Lorenzo was the only racer to lap inside the 1’31’s but there were some quick times from other rider’s this afternoon. Monster Yamaha’s Pol Espargaro will head row two after a solid session on track and is joined by Dovizioso and Britain’s Bradley Smith. At the chequered flag Smith lapped a 1’32.820 and in doing so knocked Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi off the second row.
The Doctor will start on row three alongside Maverick Vinales and LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow. In the second qualifying session Pedrosa crashed unhurt at the Chicane on the eight minute mark, whilst sixth fastest overall. The Spaniard was not the only rider to succumbed to the circuit, as the returning from injury, Danilo Petrucci also fell on his last lap. The pair make up the fourth row, alongside Aleix Espargaro.
In qualifying one Aleix Espargaro and Danilo Petrucci were the two fastest rider’s who progressed into Q2. Pramac Ducati’s Scott Redding was unable to emulate his team-mate by getting into the final qualifying outing.
The British rider will start the race tomorrow from the fifth row after his last lap of a 1’33.310 meant he went up the timing-screens, just as the flag appeared. But with that time he pushed Monaco-based Eugene Laverty down the order to sixteenth on the starting grid for Sunday’s festivities. But the Aspar rider did lap a personal best time of a 1’33.452 this afternoon.