2014 Le Mans MotoGP Qualifying ResultsAnd so the Marc Marquez story continues. The reigning MotoGP Champion has won the opening four rounds of 2014 MotoGP from the pole, and was easily the favorite heading into Le Mans.
He was on record pace Friday, leading both free practice sessions. The 21-year-old Spaniard would finish just behind Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo in Saturday’s FP3, but returned to the top position in FP4 – the final free practice ahead of qualifying.And things only got faster in qualifying – much faster. Marquez put in a scorching lap of 1:32.042, beating the 2008 qualifying record set by teammate Dani Pedrosa (2008) by 0.605 of a second.Besides setting a new qualifying record at the French circuit, the Repsol Honda RC213V pilot will also become the first rider to start from pole in six consecutive races (Marquez was on pole at 2013 season finale in Valenica) since Casey Stoner. The Australian’s record is seven-consecutive starts from pole (2008, Ducati).Marquez will be joined on the front row by Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro, who qualified 0.692 of a second back, and Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso (-0.713 of a second). This was the rookie Espargaro’s first-ever front-row start, and Dovi’s first front-row start of 2014 MotoGP.“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,” Marquez says.“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 capitalize from it and give 100 percent –as always– to fight for the win!”Heading up the second row will be the satellite LCR Honda RC213V piloted by Stefan Bradl. The German, along with Marquez’s teammate Pedrosa, underwent arm-pump surgery following Jerez MotoGP two weeks ago. Both riders were able to fully recover ahead of this weekend’s French Grand Prix.Joining Bradl on row two will be the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP duo of Valentino Rossi and Lorenzo, respectively; both factory Yamaha MotoGP bikes were over 0.8 of a second behind Marquez.The third row will consist of three Spaniards – GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, NGM Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro, and Pedrosa. The latter was the final rider to post within a second of Marquez.Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Bradley Smith, Pramac Racing Ducati’s Andrea Iannone, and Ducati Team’s Cal Crutchlow make up the fourth row.As for the Americans, Drive M7 Aspar’s Nicky Hayden qualified 13th, and NGM Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards 15th.Last season at Le Mans Marquez finished third as he watched teammate Pedrosa take the checkered flag. If Marquez wins, he will become the youngest rider in Grand Prix history to take five-consecutive victories in the premier class, ousting the record set by Mike Hailwood (22-years old) in 1962. Marquez will also become the first rider to win the opening five-consecutive rounds since Giacomo Agostini in 1972.Le Mans MotoGP will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 with coverage beginning at 7 a.m. ET. For a preview of the French Grand Prix, visit 2014 Le Mans MotoGP Preview.2014 Le Mans MotoGP Qualifying Results:
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!