World Champion Marc Márquez flies to pole at Le Mans

World Champion Marc Márquez claimed pole position for the French Grand Prix with a stunning late lap at a cool and cloudy Le Mans.

Marc Márquez
Marc Márquez

Márquez went quickest early in the 15 minute session and while his initial time was beaten by Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo, the Honda rider responded to sit clear at the top.

Márquez consequently lowered his own benchmark substantially to end with a 1:32.246, half a second faster than Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso.

Lorenzo was third quickest after a wide moment on his first lap while Cal Crutchlow claimed fourth place.

Andrea Iannone beat Bradley Smith for fifth position while Championship leader Valentino Rossi had a lowly session as he placed seventh.

Dani Pedrosa will make his MotoGP comeback from eighth on the grid, ahead of Danilo Petrucci.

Aleix Espargaró returned to the circuit after his heavy crash during the third practice session earlier on Saturday and progressed through to Q2 to take 10th position.

Pramac rider Yonny Hernández and Tech 3's Pol Espargaró claimed 11th and 12th respectively.

Maverick Viñales narrowly failed to make it through to Q2 and will start the race from 13th position, ahead of Nicky Hayden.

Scott Redding occupied one of the Q2 berths early on but ended up in 15th position after he crashed exiting Turn 2.

Stefan Bradl managed 16th position, ahead of home rider Mike di Meglio and Jack Miller, who survived a lurid trip at high speed through the gravel on the exit of Turn 1.

Héctor Barberá placed 19th to edge out Karel Abraham and Eugene Laverty.

Loris Baz topped a drying fourth practice session and will start his home race from 22nd position, with Álvaro Bautista, Alex de Angelis and Marco Melandri completing the grid.

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