No one was really shocked to see Team Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez capture pole position for this weekend’s Monster Energy Grand Prix de France at the Le Mans circuit. After all, the reigning World Champion has not only dominated at the historic track this weekend, he’s downright dominated the series thus far.
The French MotoGP pole position is Marquez’ fifth out of five possible poles this year. And he carded this one after first breaking the track’s lap record during the second free practice session on Friday. But Saturday morning, the Spaniard shattered his own newly set record by posting a fastest lap time of 1:32.042.
"I'm very happy to be on pole and also with the gap between myself and second place on the timesheet,” said Marquez on the MotoGP site. “Tomorrow will be interesting as my main rivals – Dani (Pedrosa), Jorge (Lorenzo) and Valentino (Rossi) – are not on the front row but on rows two and three."However," continued Marquez, "I know they will be there in the battle and we must be prepared. Starting from pole is an advantage and I will try to capitalize from it and give 100 percent – as always – to fight for the win!”
Starting alongside Marquez on the front row of the grid is Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro (1:32.734) in the second spot. Espargaro is a Moto2 World Champion and premier-class rookie. Prior to this weekend, his best grid position was eighth. Rounding out the front row is Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso (1:32.755).
“For me it is my first small victory,” said Espargaro. “We worked so hard to be competitive and finally we are here. We put in a lot of effort in the pre-season and the first races and it is such a great reward to get this at the team’s home round. I know that it was just one lap and our rhythm is not as high as the other guys. But starting from second will give me some strength for the race.”
Movistar Yamaha teammates Lorenzo and Rossi were somewhat off the pace and will both start from the second row. Marquez’ Repsol Honda teammate Pedrosa, who won the French MotoGP last year, struggled throughout qualifying and will start from the third row.
Marquez goes into Sunday’s 28-lap race undefeated so far this season.Tags: Andrea Dovizioso, Lorenzo, Marc Marquez, Monster Energy Grand Prix De France, Monster Yamaha Tech 3, motogp, Motorsports, Movistar Yamaha, Pedrosa, Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda, Rossi