Jorge Lorenzo has revealed that a broken sensor on his Movistar Yamaha hampered his bid for pole position at Le Mans on Saturday.

The Spaniard has had the edge in terms of race pace for much of the weekend and was also quickest in the final dry practice session, FP3.

Whilst he went on to claim third place in qualifying, on the outside of the front row, Lorenzo was left a surprising 0.6s slower than Marc Marquez.

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But the reason for the size of the gap was made clear as soon as Lorenzo returned to the pits.

"An electronic sensor was broken. So I'm surprised to set this lap time," Lorenzo said. "When I exited for my second try, in pit lane the bike was working strange and the dashboard said 5th or 6th gear and I was in 1st or 2nd.

"Then when I was going fast the bike was still strange, the engine braking and the throttle. But I didn't feel it was bad enough to stop. I had too much engine braking at the chicane when I went wide.

"When I got back to pit lane the mechanics told me about the sensor. It was a pity but what can you do."

Lorenzo, who claimed his first win of the season last time at Jerez, starts Sunday's race 20-points behind team-mate Valentino Rossi. The Italian qualified in seventh place.