MotoGP 2017 – Round Five – Le Mans – Grand Prix de France
Le Mans MotoGP Sunday Race Day Guide
Maverick Viñales starts from pole for the second time this season at the circuit where he took his first ever podium in the MotoGP class last year. He scored his first Grand Prix victory at Le Mans in the 125cc class in 2011.
Valentino Rossi is in second place on the grid, which is his best qualifying result so far in 2017. Rossi has been second at Le Mans in the last three years, but last stood on the top step of the podium at this circuit in 2008.
Johann Zarco is in third place on the grid for his home Grand Prix. It’s the first front row in the MotoGP class by a French rider since Randy de Puniet at Catalunya in 2010.
This is the best qualifying result in the premier class by a French rider at his home race since Christian Sarron was on pole for the 500cc Grand Prix at Paul Ricard in 1988. Sarron finished second in that race, which was the last time a French rider finished on a premier class podium at his home race.
This is the first all Yamaha front row since the opening race of 2008 at Qatar when Jorge Lorenzo was on pole from James Toseland and Colin Edwards.
Cal Crutchlow, who heads the second row, has crashed at Le Mans for the last two years. He has a single podium finish at this circuit when he finished second in 2013.
Marc Marquez has qualified in fifth place, which is the first time this year that he has failed to get on the front row. Marquez has not been on the podium at Le Mans since his win in 2014.
The highest placed Ducati rider on the grid is Andrea Dovizioso in sixth position. Dovizioso’s third place finish in 2015 is the only podium for Ducati at Le Mans in the last four years.
Heading the third row of the grid is Scott Redding, who took his first Moto2 victory at Le Mans in 2013.
Pol Espargaro starts from eighth place on the grid, which is the best qualifying result by KTM in their first year in the MotoGP class.
In ninth place on the grid is Karel Abraham, which is his best result in a dry qualifying session sincehe qualified ninth for the Czech Grand Prix in 2012.
Heading the fourth row is Bradley Smith, which makes it two KTM riders in the top ten places on the grid.
Loris Baz starts from 12th place on the grid, which makes it two French riders in the top twelve on the grid in the MotoGP class for the first time since the San Marino Grand Prix in 2008.
Tom Luthi has qualified on pole position for the seventh time in Moto2, which equals the tally of 2011 World Champion Stefan Bradl. Luthi has won twice in the Moto2 class at Le Mans and he is the only rider with Simone Corsi and Xavier Siméon on the current grid to have stood on the podium at this track in Moto2.
Francesco Bagnaia will start from second on the grid, which is his best qualifying result in Moto2 in only his fifth Moto2 appearance.
Franco Morbidelli will start from third on the grid. This is his seventh successive front row start, but the first time he has qualified outside of the top two in 2017.
Heading the second row is Luca Marini, which is his best Grand Prix qualifying result.
Dominique Aegerter will start from fifth on the grid. His best result in Le Mans is a fourth place finish in 2013.
Álex Márquez completes the second row of the grid, which his worst qualifying result this season and the first time he has qualified off the front row. He will be aiming to win back-to-back races for the first time in his Moto2 career.
Jorge Martín will start from pole position for the third time of his career, which equals John McPhee, Romano Fenati and Álex Márquez. This is the first time a Spanish rider has achieved back-to-back pole positions in Moto3 since Álex Rins in 2013 (Japan-Valencia). Martin will be aiming to take his first Grand Prix win.
Nicolò Bulega has qualified in second on the grid, equalling his best qualifying result in 2017. He will be aiming to take his first Grand Prix win and the first victory for KTM since Brad Binder in Valencia last year.
Juanfran Guevara will start from third on the grid, which is the third front row start of his career.
Albert Arenas qualified in fifth, which is his best qualifying result in 18 starts and the best for Mahindra since Francesco Bagnaia started third in Sepang last year.
Niccolò Antonelli, who was on pole last year in Le Mans, will start from sixth on the grid for the second race in a row.
This is the first time since the Phillip Island round in Australia last October that two KTM riders have qualified on the front row.
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