Zarco grabs French MotoGP pole

Frenchman Johann Zarco claimed pole position for his home Grand Prix at Le Mans to edge out world champion Marc Marquez ahead of Sunday’s race.

Zarco moved straight into provisional pole with his first lap of the session as Danilo Petrucci became a shock contender with a 1:31.658, but Zarco regained top spot when he pitted for a tyre change to set a time of 1:31.645.

Times continued to fall as Ducat’s Jorge Lorenzo chopping a tenth off the time on his Ducati.

The Q2 session became a two-man battle for pole between Zarco and Marquez as the world champion clocked a 1:31.315 but Zarco was not to be denied with a 1m 31.185s for pole.

Petrucci maintained third ahead of Andrea Iannone’s Suzuki, ensuring four different manufacturers will line up in the top four grid slots.

Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso grabbed fifth for Ducati ahead of Lorenzo, with Jack Miller seventh.

Movistar Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi eighth and ninth respectively while Dani Pedrosa took tenth on the grid.

Q2 Times:

1. Johann Zarco FRA Monster Yamaha Tech3 (YZR-M1) 1m 31.185s
2. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda (RC213V) 1m 31.293s +0.108s
3, Danilo Petrucci ITA Pramac Ducati (GP18) 1m 31.381s +0.196s
4. Andrea Iannone ITA Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 1m 31.454s +0.269s
5. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (GP18) 1m 31.553s +0.368s
6. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Ducati Team (GP18) 1m 31.590s +0.405s
7. Jack Miller AUS Pramac Ducati (GP17) 1m 31.683s +0.498s
8. Maverick Viñales ESP Movistar Yamaha (YZR-M1) 1m 31.784s +0.599s
9. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha (YZR-M1) 1m 31.900s +0.715s
10. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda (RC213V) 1m 32.024s +0.839s
11. Tito Rabat ESP Reale Avintia (GP17) 1m 32.049s +0.864s
12. Aleix Espargaro ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 32.455s +1.270s