Dani Pedrosa qualified ninth for Sunday's French MotoGP, despite setting a lap time just 0.289s from second place Pol Espargaro.

The remaining 0.7s deficit was to Repsol Honda team-mate Marc Marquez, who continued his perfect pole run in dominant style.

"Marc was really fast!" said Pedrosa. "He was ahead of everyone by seven tenths and the rest were very close to each other."

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Pedrosa, like LCR's Stefan Bradl, is riding for the first time since arm pump surgery and felt unable to push as hard as usual for a one-off lap.

"This weekend I'm riding less aggressive due to my injured forearm and when the time came to attack I was not able to make a very fast lap time. I didn't improve much from my normal pace so it was not a very good qualifying," he said.

"I think that in general we have done a good job in practice and I will try to get a good start tomorrow, because I am very far back. It will be important to bring the tyre temperature up on the warm-up lap and try to overtake some riders in the opening laps"

Pedrosa is currently second in the world championship, but already 28 points behind the undefeated Marquez.