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Le Mans Moto2: First pole for rookie Folger

Jonas Folger took pole position for the Moto2 Grand Prix of France in Le Mans, his first since moving up to the intermediate class
Jonas Folger found something special in his settings and in the final sector of the Le Mans track to snatch pole position at Le Mans, his first in Moto2 and a big achievement for AGR as one of the smaller teams on the grid.

The rookie left it late to set the top time only just sneaking ahead of Tito Rabat, who lead for most of the session, by 0.004 of a second. His time of 1m 37.619 set a new pole position record on the way to the front of the grid for Sunday's race.

Rabat was also one of many riders to crash, sending his bike flying into the gravel at Garage Vert with just twelve minutes remaining in the session.

The Marc VDS team managed a swift pit stop to allow him to rejoin to challenge in the final few minutes but the Spaniard had to settle for second on the grid.

From there the championship leader will look to consolidate his title lead. The 84 points he has racked up so far this season is the highest score after four rounds since the Moto2 class was introduced.

It was another rookie, Luis Salom, who took the final spot on the front row in third, equalling his best qualifying performance after also starting from third in Jerez for the Pons HP 40 team.

Mika Kallio, winner of the last round in Spain, starts from fourth for Marc VDS meaning the first four bikes to line up on the grid are all Kalex machines.

The Interwetten bike piloted by Tom Luthi was the best placed Suter in fifth, with Simone Corsi putting in a solid performance to secure sixth for the NGM Forward Racing Team.

Reigning Moto3 champion Maverick Vinales heads up row three in seventh, in another strong showing among the Moto2 rookie riders in France.

Ricky Cardus battled to eighth, his best qualifying to date as he continues his replacement performance at Tech 3.

Sandro Cortese had already made an impact aboard his Dynavolt Intact GP bike before joining the list of crashers and his time held strong for ninth.

Top Speed Up honours went to British rider Sam Lowes who improved greatly over the course of qualifying for tenth as he continues his learning curve after arriving as Supersport champion.

Dominique Aegerter will be looking to build on his career best result of second from Spain from down in 15th for the Technomag carXpert team.

Louis Rossi was the top placing French rider in 18th for the SAG Team. His fellow countrymen were not far behind with wild-card Lucas Mahias on a Promoto Sport Transformiers machine in 19th.

Johann Zarco, who's bike is painted in tribute to Christian Sarron's 1984 250cc title win, is 20th for AirAsia Caterham despite a trip into the gravel where he kept hold of his bike to immediately rejoin.

New fairings on his AGT REA Racing bike helped Londoner Gino Rea to one of his best qualifying performances this year in 23rd.

The were crashes in the session for both the Italtrans riders Julian Simon at the start, which allowed him to recover for twelfth spot, and Franco Morbidelli who followed suit at around the halfway mark.The Italian starts in 14th.

Also falling were Axel Pons and Lorenzo Baldassarri, the Gresini rider experiencing a particularly nasty looking highside leaving him needing support to walk away from the track marshals.

Josh Herrin returned to racing in Le Mans after breaking his collarbone and starts from 30th for AirAsia Caterham. Nico Terol also makes a comeback after sitting out Jerez with hip pain and secured 28th for the Aspar Team.
by Lisa Lewis

Tagged as: moto2 , Folger

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