Fifth pole out of five for Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa holds back and places 9th
MotoGP World Championship leader Marc Marquez was once again the top man in qualifying –this time at the French Grand Prix.
The reigning champion took his fifth pole position from as many races by performing at a level above that of his rivals, as the Repsol Honda man took some 6 tenths of a second off Dani Pedrosa’s previous record –which had stood since 2008.
Pedrosa himself placed ninth and will start from the third row of the grid.
Second in the third free practice session, Marquez again led the way in the fourth session, in which he and his teammate showed that they had a good race pace for tomorrow. Pedrosa was seventh and fourth in the two runouts.
However, when looking for a hot lap Marquez was a class above and stopped the clock with a 1’32.042 lap. He was some 7 tenths quicker than second placed Pol Espargaro. Pedrosa was a further 3 tenths down, taking ninth.
The fifth round of the MotoGP World Championship takes place tomorrow at 2pm local time. Marquez will have the opportunity to become the youngest rider in history to take 5 consecutives wins in the premier class –a record which has been in place since 1962.
Marc Marquez – 1st – 1:32.042 – 43 laps – 180 km
“I’m very happy to be on pole and also with the gap between myself and second place on the timesheet. Tomorrow will be interesting as my main rivals –Dani [Pedrosa], Jorge [Lorenzo] and Valentino [Rossi]– are not on the front row but on rows two and three. However, I know they will be there in the battle and we must be prepared. Starting from pole is an advantage and I will try to capitalise from it and give 100% –as always– to fight for the win!”
Dani Pedrosa – 9th – 1:33.023 – 46 laps – 192 km
“Free practice wasn’t too bad for us, but in qualifying we weren’t so great. I’m riding a little smoother this weekend and not so aggressive, due to my injured forearm, and when I wanted to push to improve my times I wasn’t really able to. I think that in general we have done a good job in practice and I will try to get a good start tomorrow, because I am very far back. It will be important to bring the tyre temperature up on the warmup lap and try to overtake some riders in the opening laps.”
Source: Repsol Media