Grand prix rookie Kenny Noyes has taken his pole position at only his third attempt, after heading a front row covered by just 0.1sec during Moto2 qualifying at Le Mans on Saturday.
Noyes battled for victory last time out in Jerez, on his way to seventh position for the Jack&Jones Banderas (Promoharris) team, but is on target for an even better result on Sunday - despite never racing at Le Mans before.
Closest to Noyes on Saturday was Yuki Takahashi, who did his best to hand the French-based Tech 3 team first place on the grid, but was left a mere 0.031sec short of Noyes. Ajo (FTR) rider Alex Debon was just 0.086sec from pole, with home star Jules Cluzel - fastest on Friday - a fraction further behind to complete the front row for Forward Racing (Suter).
Six different chassis design occupied the top six places, with former 250GP title contender Fonsi Nieto taking fifth for Holidaygym (Moriwaki), while Sergio Gadea was seventh on the Pons Kalex.
Jerez winner Toni Elias fell early in the session but got back out on track to claim seventh for Gresini (Moriwaki), but title leader Shoya Tomizawa will start just 15th… but only 0.561sec from pole!
Indeed, the top 27 rider were less than one second behind Noyes.
Qualifying - Le Mans:
1. Noyes (Promoharris) 1m 39.234s
2. Takahashi (Tech 3) +0.031s
3. Debon (FTR) +0.086s
4. Cluzel (Suter) +0.100s
5. Nieto (Moriwaki) +0.168s
6. Gadea (Pons Kalex) +0.267s
7. Elias (Moriwaki) +0.283s
8. Corsi (MotoBI) +0.364s
9. Simon (Suter) +0.388s
10. Rolfo (Suter) +0.461s
21. Redding (Suter) +0.853s