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MotoGP Le Mans: Vinales leads all-Yamaha front row

Movistar Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales scorched to MotoGP pole position for tomorrow’s Le Mans race to lead an all-Yamaha front row as team-mate Valentino Rossi finished in second with hometown hero Johann Zarco coming through qualifying one to take third place.

Vinales was fastest in free practice four earlier in the day and then set a 1’31.994 to top the session with Rossi on a 1’32.100 and Zarco, on the satellite Monster Yamaha, a further 0.129s further back.

The partisan crowd had already been treated to a display by Zarco, who crashed during FP4, in qualifying one as he used just one soft rear Michelin for the whole session and took second place with his final lap of ten to push Dani Pedrosa outside of the top 12.


Vinales left it until his last couple of laps to stamp his authority while Rossi jumped into second with a 1’32.223 even after being held up by a crashing Jack Miller at the final corner. The Doctor pushed on with his final lap to grab second place.

Zarco did have his work cut out however, as Britain’s Cal Crutchlow shot into third place with his last lap but was denied by the Frenchman as he edged ahead by 0.071s to nudge the LCR Honda man aside.

Marc Marquez crashed at Dunlop in free practice four and then did it again right at the start of Q2. He recovered quickly but could only managed a 1’32.493 for fifth place. Andrea Dovizioso was fastest in Q1 after also crashing in FP4 and set a 1’32.726 for the outside of row two.

Scott Redding’s promising pace on a drying track in FP3 didn’t move forward as much as those around him but a 1’33.119 was enough for seventh place just before he crashed. The Octo Ducati man also had some handbags with Rossi at the start of the session.

Pol Espargaro put his KTM in eighth pace while Karel Abraham will start from ninth, one ahead of Bradley Smith on the second KTM. Miller, who had a massive crash at turn two in FP4 which necessitated a trip to the medical centre, ended in 11th, just in front of Loris Baz.

Pedrosa missed out on a Q2 spot by just 0.048s, so starts from 13th place despite showing good pace in FP4. Alvaro Bautista and Jonas Folger were next along with Jorge Lorenzo slumping to a mid-pack position after his jubilant podium in Spain last time out.

Sam Lowes crashed in Q1 and starts on row seven alongside Danilo Petrucci and Hector Barbera with Sylvain Guintoli completing the grid.

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