2015 Le Mans MotoGP Qualifying Results
For the 25th time of his premier-class career – and the third time of 2015 MotoGP – Repsol Honda’s Marc Maruqez has topped qualifying.
The 22-year-old Repsol Honda RC213V pilot took pole at Le Mans MotoGP by the largest margin so far in five rounds this season. Marquez – the two-time reigning MotoGP Champion – earned pole for the #FrenchGP by 0.503 of a second ahead of Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso. Taking the final front-row starting position is Jerez winner Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo, who qualified 0.6 of a second behind.
Regardless of Marquez’s dominance in qualifying while utilizing two soft tires, he knows Lorenzo will be the biggest threat. Lorenzo, also a two-time MotoGP Champion, has four premier-class wins at Le Mans.
“Every time that we have gone out on track this weekend we have made big changes, in order to decide which direction to take things with the setup. In qualifying we used the best setup that we had found,” Marquez says.
“We were lucky that the track was in good condition which allowed me to ride normally. I am happy with pole position and tomorrow a tough race awaits us, because Jorge especially has a very good pace. We will try to be as close to him as we can!”
Lorenzo also commented: “The conditions were difficult on the track, you have to be careful with slicks and stay confident. We were lucky on the last lap to have 99 percent of the track dry and I pushed quite a bit. It was a pity that I didn‘t ride any good laps and was slower than I was in FP3. I made a mistake in sector three and lost probably half a second, but I was lucky not to go outside of the track and ride a very good sector four, which put me on the first row.”
Heading up row two is the top satellite pilot, CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, who was 0.651 of a second off the pace. Joining Crutchlow on row two are Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone and Crutchlow’s fellow British countryman, Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Bradley Smith – who led FP2 Friday.
Iannone was the final rider to post within a second of Marquez, the Italian GP15 rider who dislocated his shoulder earlier this week 0.755 of a second off the pace. Smith finished 1.053 behind Marquez.
Nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi qualified on top of the third row in seventh. Rossi will be without a doubt ride aggressively during Sunday’s 28-lap GP as he searches for a 10th world title. Heading into Sunday’s GP, the 36-year-old Italian has a 15-point lead over Dovi.
Joining Rossi on Row three are Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, who returned following a three-race hiatus due to arm-pump surgery, and Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci.
Dani Pedrosa spoke of his return: ”This first qualifying session back has not gone badly. We could have gone a little faster but in the end I didn’t quite manage it. The positive news is that today I am feeling a little better physically than yesterday and that’s a good thing!”
The top Open-class rider was the sole American in MotoGP, Aspar Racing Honda’s Nicky Hayden, who qualified 14th.
For more on round five of 2015 MotoGP, visit 2015 Le Mans MotoGP Preview.
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