Marquez on pole despite fall in mixed conditions

Marc Marquez produces his hallmark performance to take pole position for the French MotoGP despite crashing in intermittent rain
Marquez on pole despite fall in mixed conditions

Full qualifying results for the French MotoGP

Marc Marquez has produced his hallmark performance to take pole position for the French MotoGP despite crashing during Q2 in intermittent rain at Le Mans.

With rain circling the track throughout FP4 and qualifying, Marquez was the rider to maximise his performance in the best of the conditions at the start of Q2 with a 1m 40.952s which proved unbeatable for the remainder of the session.

But in familiar Marquez style, immediately after setting his provisional pole time he low-sided off at Turn 6, holding on to his Repsol Honda while sliding into the gravel, before returning to action.

Marquez has claimed his 55th career MotoGP pole position, equalling Valentino Rossi’s tally, and moves three behind all-time pole leader Mick Doohan.

Danilo Petrucci acted as Marquez’s nearest challenger on the factory Ducati in tough conditions, 0.360s off the Repsol Honda rider, with Jack Miller completing the front row for Pramac Ducati.

The Australian rider was fancied as a strong contender given his recent record in mixed conditions but a late crash at Turn 3 prematurely cut short his charge.

Andrea Dovizioso grabbed the front of the second row for Ducati ahead of an impressive performance from Rossi who progressed through Q1 by being the only rider to gamble early on dry tyres as the rain briefly eased.

Rossi, along with Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo, attempted the same trick at the start of Q2 using dry tyres but the tactic failed to pay off as the rain returned during the session.

Switching to wet tyres, Rossi rescued fifth place on his Monster Yamaha ahead of fellow Q1 graduate Franco Morbdelli with sixth place on the Petronas Yamaha.

Takaaki Nakagami will head up row three on the LCR Honda despite a late crash at Turn 4 but kept ahead of Repsol Honda’s Jorge Lorenzo. Aprilia’s Alexi Espargaro completes the third row in ninth place.

It was a frustrating session for both Quartararo (10th) and Vinales (11th) with the pair struggling in the switch to wet tyres having had limited track time in the slippery conditions.

Pol Espargaro completed the Q2 runners after failing to set a lap time for Red Bull KTM after crashing during his opening effort at the fast Turn 6.

Pramac Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia was the unlucky 13th-placed rider to miss out on progressing through Q1, ahead of Johann Zarco on the Red Bull KTM and Cal Crutchlow on the LCR Honda.

Miguel Oliveira briefly looked set to pull off a surprise with an early Q1 lap before dropping down the order before his hopes were dashed by an crash at Turn 3 for Tech 3 KTM.

With Karel Abraham in 17th, it was a disaster qualifying for Suzuki duo Joan Mir (18th) and Alex Rins (19th). Tito Rabat qualified 20th for Avintia Ducati ahead of Hafizh Syahrin on the Tech 3 KTM with Aprilia’s Andrea Iannone completing the grid in 22nd.