French MotoGP Qualifying Results: Quartararo grabs home pole in Miller fight

Fabio Quartararo digs deep to prise pole position from the grip of Jack Miller in a thrilling - and close - French MotoGP qualifying session at Le Mans

Fabio Quartararo - Petronas SRT Yamaha

Fabio Quartararo will start his home French MotoGP from an emotional pole position after drawing on the very best of his talents to claim an outstanding third top spot of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship season at Le Mans.

It’s been almost 18 months since Quartararo arrived at Le Mans as a MotoGP rider for the first time, but so much has changed since. Whereas then he was perceived to be talented but finding his feet, fast forward to now and he is the title favourite after winning three races in 2020. 

Pole today was achieved despite the best efforts of Miller, who caused a stir by moving the benchmark on by more than a tenth, only for Quartararo in the very final moments to chop another two tenths from the margin.

It is already his ninth MotoGP pole position in just 27 attempts, while it gives him an excellent opportunity to put his stamp on the 2020 MotoGP title after Joan Mir - his closest rival eight points adrift - could only manage 14th on the grid as the Suzukis struggle in the cooler than customary temperatures, the product of holding the event in October and not May.

Miller gets underway from second position, just ahead of an inspired Danilo Petrucci, who pulled off easily his best qualifying effort of the year to book a spot on the front row.

With veterans finally getting their share of the limelight in conditions the younger generation haven’t raced in before, Cal Crutchlow made his first Q2 of the year count with a fine run to fourth, ahead of title contenders Maverick Vinales and Andrea Dovizioso.

Pecco Bagnaia starts seventh, ahead of KTM’s Pol Espargaro and Johann Zarco, who starts ninth despite only being the fifth highest place Ducati on the grid.

Valentino Rossi rounds out the top ten from Franco Morbidelli, while Miguel Oliveira was 12th and last in Q2, but lucky to have had a shot at all after a huge engine blow on his Tech 3 KTM in FP4 was followed minutes later by him then crashing the spare bike.

Elsewhere, Alex Rins compounded Suzuki’s day in 16th, while Brad Binder was another to crash in the dying moments of Q1, leaving him 17th.

2020 French MotoGP, Le Mans - Qualifying Results and Grid Positions

2020 French MotoGP, Le Mans - Qualifying Results
1Fabio QuartararoFRAPetronas SRT Yamaha1m 31.315
2Jack MillerAUSPramac Ducati1m 31.537
3Danilo PetrucciITADucati Team1m 31.674
4Cal CrutchlowGBRLCR Honda1m 31.686
5Maverick VinalesESPYamaha Factory Racing1m 31.719
6Andrea DoviziosoITADucati Team1m 31.722
7Pecco BagnaiaITAPramac Ducati1m 31.752
8Pol EspargaroESPRed Bull KTM Factory1m 31.795
9Johann ZarcoFRAAvintia Ducati1m 31.932
10Valentino RossiITAYamaha Factory Racing1m 31.889
11Franco MorbidelliITAPetronas SRT Yamaha1m 31.891
12Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM Tech 31m 32.009
13Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda1m 32.179
14Joan MirESPTeam Suzuki Ecstar1m 32.187
15Aleix EspargaroESPAprilia Racing Gresini1m 32.539
16Alex RinsESPTeam Suzuki Ecstar1m 32.757
17Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM Factory1m 32.766
18Alex MarquezESPRepsol Honda Team1m 32.774
19Bradley SmithGBRAprilia Racing Gresini1m 32.883
20Iker LecuonaESPRed Bull KTM Tech 31m 32.859
21Stefan BradlESPRepsol Honda Team1m 32.861
22Tito RabatESPAvintia Ducati1m 33.610