Maverick Vinales of Yamaha takes pole ahead of Valentino Rossi and home hero Johann Zarco at Le Mans.
While the factory Hondas dominated in the last round at Spain two weeks ago, Yamaha made a strong comeback in this week’s French GP. In the qualifying, Maverick Vinales took pole position, followed by teammate Valentino Rossi in second and Johann Zarco of Tech 3 Yamaha taking the third spot in front of his home crowd.
After struggling in Jerez, Vinales was back to his usual self – meaning he was quite fast for his rivals today – and snatched pole position from Rossi by 0.106s. The real sensation was, of course, Zarco, who finished the session as third fastest to bag his debut front row start at his home turf. Cal Crutchlow was the fastest Honda man today as the LCR Honda rider finished fourth. Marquez will join Crutchlow on the second row in fifth along with Ducati’s Andrea Iannone in sixth. Behind them, Scott Redding, Pol Espargaro and Karel Abraham will fill the third row. The fourth row will have Bradley Smith, Jack Miller and Loris Baz in the same order.
As for the last race’s winner, Dani Pedrosa, he couldn’t make it to Q2 since he was outgunned by Dovizioso and Zarco in Q1. Pedrosa will start the race placed 13th on the grid. The Repsol Honda rider, however, wasn’t the only usual front-runner who was having a bad day in office. Jorge Lorenzo of Ducati also had a terrible outing as he could only manage to finish 16th.