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Le Mans: Marquez pole as Pedrosa falls

18 May 2013

Rookie MotoGP title leader Marc Marquez responded to his free practice fall in perfect fashion by claiming pole position for the French MotoGP at Le Mans.

Using his spare bike, the Repsol Honda star snared his second pole of the season by just 0.030s from Yamaha's reigning double champion Jorge Lorenzo.

Jerez winner Dani Pedrosa was effectively removed from the pole fight after suffering a near identical lowside to Marquez heading into the first chicane, early in qualifying.

That forced a switch to his second bike, but Pedrosa was not a pole contender thereafter and will start just sixth on the grid.

Joining Marquez and Lorenzo on the front row will be Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, who thumped out his best performance as a Desmosedici rider and provided a welcome boost to the Italian factory.

Starting ahead of Pedrosa on row two will be a sore Cal Crutchlow - who brought out the red flags in final practice before a return to action for the local Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team - and LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl.

Lorenzo's team-mate Valentino Rossi will line-up in a lowly eighth place on the grid, 0.8s from Marquez. It was Rossi's equal worst qualifying of the season and especially demoralising after being the top Yamaha on Friday.

Rossi will start between Alvaro Bautista (Gresini Honda) and Bradley Smith (Tech 3) on the third row. Ducati's Nicky Hayden completes the top ten, followed by CRT class leaders Aleix Espargaro and Randy de Puniet, who graduated through Q1.

Marquez's best lap of 1m 33.187s was the best of the weekend. The forecast rain arrived shortly after the end of MotoGP qualifying.

Qualifying (2):

1. Marc Marquez
2. Jorge Lorenzo
3. Andrea Dovizioso
4. Cal Crutchlow
5. Stefan Bradl
6. Dani Pedrosa
7. Alvaro Bautista
8. Valentino Rossi
9. Bradley Smith
10. Nicky Hayden
11. Aleix Espargaro
12. Randy De Puniet


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