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.
|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|