An incredible lap by Alex Rins saw him match exactly the new lap record set by Sam Lowes before the rain returned to take pole at Le Mans in Moto2's qualifying session for the French Grand Prix.

The rookie secured his first ever Moto2 pole as one of a handful of riders who improved after a rain shower, initially thwarted by traffic before taking control to match Lowes' 1m 37.114 benchmark time, with the Paginas Amarillas HP 40 rider given the top spot by also holding a faster second best lap.

Initially Speed Up rider Lowes had looked to have perfectly timed his run as spots of rain did enough to slow his rivals and the red sector times vanished, before Rins' dominant last five minute assault.

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Joining them on the front row is championship leader Johann Zarco, the Ajo Motorsport rider, inspired by seeing Rins gain after the rain, decided to push for more in his home Grand Prix, elevating himself to third at the chequered flag after an amazingly fast final sector.

That lap pushed Tito Rabat, who has been back to his consistent best this weekend, off the front row and into fourth for EG 0,0 Marc VDS.

Joining the Spaniard on row two are the resurgent Taka Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) back on the pace in fifth and Tom Luthi (Derendinger Racing Interwetten) in sixth after a personal best final lap.

Rins' team-mate Luis Salom will start his 100th Grand Prix from seventh. Gresini's Xavier Simeon holds eighth on the grid and QMMF Racing rider Julian Simon in ninth also secured a third row start with Randy Krummenacher continiung his strong weekend placing inside the top ten for JiR.

Last years pole sitter Jonas Folger is down in 15th for AGR Team just one place of his team-mate Axel Pons.

Pons was one of just a handful of crashers joining Thitipong Warokorn and Franco Morbidelli in the gravel over the 45 minutes.

Alex Marquez qualified down in 21st for EG 0,0 Marc VDS as he continues to find his feet in Moto2.

Frenchman Louis Bolle has a wild card ride this weekend for the Promoto Sport team, his Transfiormers bike is 31st and last.