MotoGP: Marc Marquez on pole for French race at Le Mans

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MotoGP: Marquez takes Le Mans pole

French Grand Prix

Venue:
Le Mans
Sunday 19 May:
Moto2 & 3 races: 09:45-12:20 BST on Red Button and online. MotoGP race: 12:30-14:15 BST on BBC Two, HD, online, mobiles and the BBC app

Spain's championship leader Marc Marquez clinched pole position after topping the qualifying times for Sunday's French MotoGP at Le Mans.

The 20-year-old Honda rider finished 0.03 seconds ahead of Yamaha's current champion Jorge Lorenzo to secure his second pole this season.

Italy's Andrea Dovizioso secured his first front row for Ducati.

Britain's Cal Crutchlow crashed out in the fourth practice session, but only narrowly missed out on third.

Dani Pedrosa crashed with nine minutes of qualifying left, but managed to get back out on track to finish sixth.

Valentino Rossi will start eighth on the grid while Britain's Bradley Smith finished one place behind the Italian.

Earlier in the fourth free practice session, Marquez also crashed in what he described as "difficult conditions", but it had no impact on his performance in qualifying.

"I'm very happy. I had the confidence," said the Honda rider, who leads compatriot Pedrosa by three points in the overall standings.

Dovizisio was surprised to book his first front-row position since last year's Malaysian GP and Ducati's first since Jerez earlier in that season.

He said: "We knew that our bike would be working better at this track, but we didn't expect the first row.

"We had the possibility to do a good lap time and we have a better pace here, so I'm confident of having a good rhythm tomorrow."

In Moto 2, Japan's Takaaki Nakagami won his first career pole, finishing ahead of England's Scott Redding and French rider Johann Zarco. Championship leader Esteve Rabat was fourth quickest.

Spaniard Maverick Vinales, the championship leader, topped qualifying in Moto 3 from Portugal's Miguel Oliveira and Germany's Jonas Folger.

Top 10 MotoGP qualifying times from Le Mans:

1. Marc Marquez (Spa) Honda 1 min 33.187 secs

2. Jorge Lorenzo (Spa) Yamaha 1:33.217

3. Andrea Dovizioso (Ita) Ducati 1:33.603

4. Cal Crutchlow (GB) Yamaha 1:33.609

5. Stefan Bradl (Ger) Honda 1:33.634

6. Dani Pedrosa (Spa) Honda 1:33.639

7. Alvaro Bautista (Spa) Honda 1:33.984

8. Valentino Rossi (Ita) Yamaha 1:34.009

9. Bradley Smith (GBR) Yamaha 1:34.222

10. Nicky Hayden (US) Ducati 1:34.242