The second day of the French Grand Prix started out in rainy conditions at Le Mans, meaning that the automatic Q2 positions for the Moto3 class were decided by Friday’s free practice times. John McPhee was one of the riders who progressed through a wet Q1 and the Scotsman then made the most of the added track time by taking pole position by almost two tenths over Tony Arbolino and Ai Ogura.
The wet weather made life difficult for Albert Arenas and Raúl Fernández, who were two of the riders already secure in Q2 thanks to their good performance yesterday. Fernández was on the pace again today, finishing eighth fastest, although he will line up 20th after suffering a twelve-place grid penalty for slow riding yesterday. The Spanish rider remains confident about his chances in tomorrow’s race.
Albert Arenas had his own issues in qualifying due to the tricky track conditions, eventually qualifying 1.3 seconds off pole in 16th position. Arenas and his crew will analyse the data tonight and try to come up with a set-up that allows him to give his all tomorrow, in a Grand Prix that he won in 2018.
8th Raúl Fernández 1:42.961 (+0.684):
“It will be a difficult race tomorrow because of the twelve-place penalty for the slow lap yesterday. Apart from that I am happy with how the day went today, we are improving a lot and I am getting more and more comfortable with the team. The foot is still troubling me, especially in the fast direction changes, and sometimes I am thinking more about my foot and where to put it than other things. I took a big step forward today by doing the lap time alone and tomorrow I will go out and give everything, even if we have to start from 10th because of the penalty.”
16th Albert Arenas 1:43.589 (+1,312):
“We struggled in qualifying, it was a difficult session, and now we have to analyse what happened and prepare for tomorrow because we had good pace yesterday. We will have to work hard to have the best possible bike for the race. The weather conditions haven’t helped but in the end they’re the same for everybody. I would prefer it to be either fully wet or fully dry tomorrow because mixed conditions are so tricky.”
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