Bagnaia leads Ducati 1-2 in MotoGP qualifying at Le Mans - The Race
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Bagnaia leads Ducati 1-2 in MotoGP qualifying at Le Mans

May 14 2022
By Valentin Khorounzhiy

Francesco Bagnaia led a Ducati 1-2 in qualifying for the French Grand Prix at Le Mans, as local hero and reigning MotoGP champion Fabio Quartararo missed out on the front row.

The two protagonists of the preceding Spanish Grand Prix took control of the pole shoot-out from the get-go, Quartararo leading Bagnaia by just 0.011s after the opening runs as they both sat nearly four tenths clear of the leading pack.

But Bagnaia permitted his factory team-mate Jack Miller to follow him on his next run, with both jumping ahead of Quartararo and with Bagnaia 0.069s ahead.

The Italian’s 1m30.450s lap now stands as the new MotoGP lap record at the Le Mans Bugatti circuit, usurping Johann Zarco’s benchmark from earlier today.

Quartararo’s attempts to depose either of the Ducati men proved futile, and he would instead be relegated off the front row by Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro.

Ducati riders Enea Bastianini (Gresini) and Zarco (Pramac) completed the top six, ahead of the Suzuki duo of Joan Mir and Alex Rins.

Zarco’s team-mate Jorge Martin, who had advanced from Q1 alongside Rins, was forced to settle for ninth.

The fourth row for Sunday’s race – which is expected to be wet – will be fully occupied by the three Hondas that had participated in Q2, with Marc Marquez leading works team-mate Pol Espargaro and LCR rider Takaaki Nakagami.

VR46 Ducati rookie Marco Bezzecchi came 0.007s short of denying Mir a spot in Q2, having to settle for the top spot on the fifth row ahead of Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales and team-mate Luca Marini.

And it was a much-improved showing from Ducati’s other rookie – Gresini rider Fabio Di Giannantonio – to claim 16th, albeit he was half a second off Bezzecchi.

For the third time this season, the whole KTM contingent was eliminated in Q1, this time led by Miguel Oliveira – who will start 17th.

The next-best Yamaha behind Quartararo was factory team-mate Franco Morbidelli all the way down in 19th place.

Qualifying Results

Pos Name Team Bike Group 1 Group 2
1 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1m30.45s
2 Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1m30.519s
3 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1m30.609s
4 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1m30.688s
5 Enea Bastianini Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1m30.711s
6 Johann Zarco Pramac Racing Ducati 1m30.863s
7 Joan Mir Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1m30.933s 1m30.943s
8 Alex Rins Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1m30.977s
9 Jorge Martin Pramac Racing Ducati 1m30.804s 1m31.068s
10 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda 1m31.148s
11 Pol Espargaró Repsol Honda Team Honda 1m31.526s
12 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1m31.595s
13 Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1m30.94s
14 Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1m31.271s
15 Luca Marini Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1m31.363s
16 Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1m31.487s
17 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m31.547s
18 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m31.61s
19 Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1m31.617s
20 Andrea Dovizioso WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1m31.618s
21 Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol Honda 1m31.763s
22 Remy Gardner Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m31.82s
23 Darryn Binder WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1m32.596s
24 Raul Fernandez Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m32.767s

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