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Marquez scorches to second pole position
Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez has collected a second MotoGP pole position for this weekend’s Monster Energy Grand Prix de France. The championship leader beat current title holder Jorge Lorenzo by just three hundredths of a second as Andrea Dovizioso celebrated his first front row for Ducati Team. Jerez winner Dani Pedrosa will start sixth after crashing.

The majority of those in the paddock expected rainfall for qualifying, but this was not to be the case as a steady breeze graced the historic Le Mans venue. Delivering an impressive lap time of 1’33.187, Marquez looked to have convincingly sealed his second pole after Texas but was challenged hard by Lorenzo. With Dovizioso taking his first front row since Malaysia 2012, today’s result also marks the first time that the Honda, Yamaha and Ducati factory outfits have shared Row 1 since Spain 2012.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow came back from a heavy crash at La Chapelle in final practice to achieve the fourth best grid spot and will share the second row with LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl and the aforementioned Pedrosa, who was forced to rush back to the pits with less than ten minutes to go after repeating an error made by Repsol Honda Team partner Marquez (but in final practice for the latter) and falling at Turn 3. He eventually missed out on the top spot by half a second.

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi hopes to become the fourth winner from four races this weekend, but could muster only eighth in qualifying and will be flanked on Row 3 by GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista and Tech 3’s Bradley Smith, who with ninth place equals his best grid position of the season so far. Nicky Hayden completed the top ten for Ducati as Power Electronics Aspar successfully saw two CRT riders into the Q2 for the first time; although he was quicker than his teammate in Q1, local hero Randy de Puniet could not out-qualify teammate Aleix Espargaro when it came to the all-important final shootout.

Elsewhere, Michele Pirro qualified 14th and one place behind Pramac Racing teammate Andrea Iannone as he stands in for the recovering Ben Spies, while Colin Edwards was highly optimistic with the latest evolution of his FTR frame and went on to qualify 17th for NGM Mobile Forward Racing. On his return, Karel Abraham - with seven screws and a plate in his right shoulder following a collision in Austin - was, like Iannone, still in some pain but managed to achieve a sixth row placing.

Sunday’s 2013 Monster Energy Grand Prix de France will begin at 2pm local time (GMT +2) and forecasters are continuing to predict rain.


Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Behind
1. Marc Marquez Honda 1m33.187s +0.000s
2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m33.217s +0.030s
3. Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1m33.603s +0.416s
4. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 1m33.609s +0.422s
5. Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 1m33.634s +0.447s
6. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m33.639s +0.452s
7. Alvaro Bautista Gresini Honda 1m33.984s +0.797s
8. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m34.009s +0.822s
9. Bradley Smith Tech 3 Yamaha 1m34.222s +1.035s
10. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m34.242s +1.055s
11. Aleix Espargaro Aspar Aprilia 1m34.754s +1.567s
12. Randy de Puniet Aspar Aprilia 1m35.086s +1.899s
13. Andrea Iannone Pramac Ducati 1m35.062s +1.875s
14. Michele Pirro Ducati 1m35.228s +2.041s
15. Hector Barbera Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m35.714s +2.527s
16. Danilo Petrucci Ioda-Suter-BMW 1m35.770s +2.583s
17. Colin Edwards Forward FTR-Kawasaki 1m36.221s +3.034s
18. Karel Abraham Cardion Aprilia 1m36.271s +3.084s
19. Claudio Corti Forward FTR-Kawasaki 1m36.330s +3.143s
20. Michael Laverty Paul Bird PBM-Aprilia 1m36.596s +3.409s
21. Bryan Staring Gresini FTR-Honda 1m36.714s +3.527s
22. Lukas Pesek Ioda-Suter-BMW 1m36.768s +3.581s
23. Yonny Hernandez Paul Bird Aprilia 1m36.961s +3.774s
24. Hiroshi Aoyama Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m37.523s +4.336s

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