Le Mans (AFP)
Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) will start from pole position for "his" French MotoGP Grand Prix on Sunday after taking pole position on Saturday in front of his Yamaha teammate, Spaniard Maverick Vinales, and Australian Jack Miller (Ducati) .
“It's fantastic,” said the 22-year-old French rider, who thus obtains his 13th top position in MotoGP, the category in which he started in 2019. “I'm happy to be in pole position for the second time. right here, "he added.
He also had the best time in 2020 before having an average race and giving the victory to the Italian Danilo Petrucci, then at Ducati.
Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati), the current leader of the world championship after four events with two points ahead of Quartararo, has completely missed his qualifications and will only start from 16th position for the race on Sunday whose start will be given at 2:00 p.m.
This could give "El Diablo" the opportunity to regain the lead of the provisional classification of the world championship, lost during the GP of Spain a fortnight ago.
Operated since for a "compartment syndrome", a muscle contraction in the forearm, he showed on Saturday that he was back in full possession of his means.
The other Frenchman entered in MotoGP, Johann Zarco (Ducati-Pramac), will start 5th, just ahead of the six-time Spanish world champion Marc Marquez (Honda) after a qualifying session disputed in very uncertain weather but on a dry track.
- rain on Sunday?
Zarco, currently 5th in the championship, has high hopes for the rain on Sunday to be able to secure the victory, which would be his first in MotoGP after two world championship titles in Moto2.
"I looked at the weather forecast and they predict rain in Le Mans until August 4," he quipped on Saturday, while the weather for this weekend in Le Mans is made up of showers, wind and cool temperatures. .
Marc Marquez, who returns to competition this year after a year of absence due to injury, held the fastest time of the session for a long time before Quartararo, Vinales, Miller, Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha-SRT) and Zarco did not. ahead in the last lap, taking advantage of a track that becomes faster and faster after the few drops that fell at the start of the session.
This is an excellent result for the Spanish champion who admits that he is not yet 100% of his means after his fractured right humerus followed by complications that kept him off the slopes all last season.
He stressed before qualifying that the rain leveled his handicap, however.
Another candidate for victory on Sunday is Australian Jack Miller (Ducati), winner of the last Spanish GP and currently 6th in the world championship.
Note that the Suzuki completely missed their qualifications, the reigning world champion, the Spaniard Joan Mir, starting only 14th and his compatriot Alex Rins 15th.
The 42-year-old Italian veteran Valentino Rossi, who had a particularly difficult start to the season, has raised the bar and will be ninth on the grid on his Yamaha-SRT.
© 2021 AFP