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Moto3: Vinales dominates in damp Le Mans qualifying

19 May 2012

By Lisa Lewis

Maverick Vinales has taken pole position for the French Moto3 Grand Prix at a damp Le Mans.

Vinales finished nearly a second ahead of his nearest rival as he posted a time of 1:55.865, while others struggled in the crash filled session.

A well timed late lap from Efren Vazquez moved his FTR Honda into second place as he took the chequered flag for the JHK T-Shirt Laglisse team.

Portuguese Miguel Oliviera takes the final front row position on the grid after being the early leader. Oliveira managed this despite crashing his Suter Honda. He opted to wait for his bike to get picked up, going back out on the Estrella Galicia 0,0 with just minutes to go.

There was drama for championship leader Sandro Cortese who, with half an hour to go crashed and desperate to get his bike back to the pits as it wouldn't start, decided after a lengthy wait to run the Red Bull KTM bike all the way back to the garage himself. He salvaged his session somewhat by qualifying sixth.

Jakub Kornfeil put in an impressive performance to finish the session fourth for the Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta team with Alexis Masbou just behind him in fifth on the Caretta Technology Honda.

Alberto Moncayo put in an improved performance for the Bankia Aspar on the Kalex KTM coming in seventh, with team mate Hector Faubel in Eighth. Luis Salom for RW Racing GP and another solid performance for Malaysian rider Zulfami Khairuddin on the AirAsia-Sic-Ajo KTM complete the top ten.

JHK T-Shirt Laglisse rider Adrian Martin stayed true to form by being the first to crash in qualifying. He has the dubious accolade of the most crashes so far in the class this season, and had another crash on his FTR Honda with eight minutes to go, while sitting in third. Martin eventually finished 12th, while Jonas Floger returns from illness in 11th for Ioda Racing.

There were also crashes for Ivan Moreno, Alex Rins, Kevin Hanus, Brad Binder, Toni Finsterbusch, Jack Miller, Niccolo Antonelli and Marcel Schrotter.

British rider Danny Webb finished 32nd after being one of many to fall with around half an hour to go, both the Mahindra riders failed to post a time within the 107% time.

Fellow Brit Danny Kent had a subdued session finishing in 17th on the Red Bull KTM, having been pushed down the standings as other riders took the chequered flag.


Qualifying:

1. Maverick ViƱales SPA (FTR Honda) 1m 55.865s
2. Efren Vazquez SPA (FTR Honda) 1m 56.847s
3. Miguel Oliveira POR (Suter Honda) 1m 57.114s
4. Jakub Kornfeil CZE (FTR Honda) 1m 57.392s
5. Alexis Masbou FRA (Honda) 1m 57.673s
6. Sandro Cortese GER (KTM) 1m 57.801s
7. Alberto Moncayo SPA (Kalex KTM) 1m 57.846s
8. Hector Faubel SPA (Kalex KTM) 1m 57.899s
9. Luis Salom SPA (Kalex KTM) 1m 58.000s
10. Zulfahmi Khairuddin MAL (KTM) 1m 58.133s
11. Jonas Folger GER (Ioda) 1m 58.304s
12. Adrian Martin SPA (FTR Honda) 1m 58.315s
13. Niklas Ajo FIN (KTM) 1m 58.563s
14. Arthur Sissis AUS (KTM) 1m 58.570s
15. Louis Rossi FRA (FTR Honda) 1m 58.576s


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