The hypothetical theory that Le Mans is a circuit where the gap between riders’ lap times is reduced was blown out of the water today as BANKIA Aspar Nico Terol blasted his way to a dominant pole positions. Vázquez, Zarco and Cortese had all shown signs in free practice that they might be able to challenge the Spaniard but in the end it was his own team-mate Héctor Faubel who put up the strongest resistance. Tomorrow’s race looks like it could be a straight battle between the pair although they will have to keep an eye on hungry youngsters Adrián Martín and Maverick Viñales.
Martín capped off a perfect day in the BANKIA Aspar box, starting off this morning when Nico, Héctor and Adrián lapped first, third and fourth fastest. In the afternoon the more experienced pair were the only riders to break the 1’44 barrier, sealing Nico’s third pole of the year already and Hector’s best grid. The team’s youngster was just 1.148 seconds further back, qualifying on the third row of the grid.
1st Nico Terol 1.43.578 (18 laps):
“I pushed really hard this afternoon and felt really comfortable. My objective was to try and set the fastest ever lap here and my pace was really fast, which will serve us well for the race. I ran into a lot of traffic on my last run but I was still able to run a pace around 1’43.9, 1’44. and on the last lap I managed a 1’43.5 so I am really happy with that. It looks like my rivals are a little closer here at Le Mans but I just prefer to concentrate on myself and try to improve as a rider. Tomorrow I will try to make a good start and push hard to break the group up if I can. I think Héctor, Zarco and Cortese are my strongest rivals for the race. Héctor and I congratulated each other at the end of the session today because to be one and two on the grid is great for us and great for the team.”
2nd Héctor Faubel 1.43.967 (18 laps):
“We have improved the bike thanks to an enormous amount of work and effort from the team and we felt the benefit during qualifying. 50% of the race tomorrow will be in the start and I will have to get into the right position to try and follow Nico. More than fighting him for the win though the objective for us is to finish the race and bring an end to our bad run. A podium finish would be a huge boost for us. The crash in Portugal is water under the bridge and now I just want to enjoy myself on the bike, as I have done here all weekend. This is the best set-up we’ve found all season, we’re taking giant steps forward and I hope that continues tomorrow.”
7th Adrián Martín 1.44.726 (19 laps):
“I am happy because I think the third row is where I should be right now. I felt strong this morning and finished fourth fastest, which gave me a lot of motivation for the afternoon. On my last run I was able to stay consistent and run in the group with Nico, Folger and Zarco so I just tried to stay with them and learn as much as I could. That lasted for five or six laps and the experience should come in useful tomorrow. Sharing a garage with Nico and Héctor is helping me a lot and I am progressing quicker than I would do if I was on my own.”
Source: Aspar Media
- “We will do our best to make our people proud of us”
- Marquez: the king of the crashers!
- PTT Thailand Grand Prix voted best of 2018
- Crowd pleasers: MotoGP™'s biggest weekends of the season
- F.C.C. to continue as official clutch supplier to Moto2™
- Argentina to host MotoGP™ until 2021
- XControllers, new official licensee of MotoGP™
- An abundance of World Champions lineup in MotoGP™ for 2019