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Moto3 France: Antonelli snatches superb late pole

Niccolo Antonelli took pole position for the Moto3 Grand Prix of France in Le Mans with a hot late lap to topple championship leader Brad Binder.
Niccolo Antonelli put himself back on track after a disappointing string of results off the back of his Qatar win with a late hot lap to seal pole for the Le Mans round of the Moto3 World Championship.

The Ongetta-Rivacold rider had made focus a priority and set about ironing out his errors, putting in a fall-free session and finding space on his final lap of the track to set pole with a best time of 1m 42.756 seconds.

The Italian's timesheet-topping effort ensures that Moto3 has featured a different rider on pole at every race so far this season.

Antonelli toppled championship leader and Jerez hero, Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Brad Binder, who will start second on the grid behind the Honda man.

Rookie Aron Canet completes the front row, third after putting his track knowledge as last season's CEV Spanish Championship winner at the track to good use, producing a string of speedy laps aboard his Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda.

His team-mate Jorge Navarro leads row two and is joined by Sky Racing VR 46 riders Romano Fenati, who looked set for pole before losing all of his time advantage in the final sector of the track for a final fifth, and Nicolo Bulega, who could only watch as his time was bettered after being sent flying from his bike at the Dunlop corner.

RBA Racing's Juanfran Guevara put in a season's best performance for seventh. He is joined on row three by Leopard rider and last year's pole man Fabio Quartararo, who fell in the final minutes but rejoined for a final fast run, and Khairul Idham Pawi, who also returned to track to go from last to ninth. Fabio Di Giannantonio put in a lap good enough for an impressive top ten start for Gresini.

The Peugeot team will hope a home race will bring them luck with Alexis Masbou the top local rider in 15th for the Saxoprint Mahindra based team. John McPhee starts 25th. The now non-sponsored and self-run Maria Herrera takes 30th spot on the grid.

There were early falls for Adam Norrodin and Fabio Spiranelli at Museum corner. They were later joined in off-track excursions by Gabriel Rodrigo, who was swiftly followed by Joan Mir and Jakub Kornfeil, hindering his progress after finishing qualifying leading on combined times.

Home rider Jules Danilo also crashed late on, but was off the pace in 27th after a strong start to the season.

Frenchman Enzo Boulom returns to wild-card again following an appearance at the last round in Jerez for the Procercasa 42 Motorsport team. He will fill the 29th grid slot.

Boulom is not joined this time by Davide Pizzoli, who sits the race out with a fracture, joining early title favourite Enea Bastianini on the sidelines in France with the Gresini rider ruled out after fracturing his right wrist in a training crash.
by Lisa Lewis


Tagged as: Ajo , Fenati , McPhee , Kornfeil , Masbou , Guevara , Binder

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Antonelli, Moto3, French MotoGP 2016
Brad Binder, Ajo, Aragon Moto3 Race 2016
Brad Binder, Aragon Moto3 Race 2016
Brad Binder, Aragon Moto3 Race 2016
Brad Binder, Aragon Moto3 Race 2016
Brad Binder, Aragon Moto3 Race 2016
Brad Binder, Aragon Moto3 Race 2016
Brad Binder, Aragon Moto3 Race 2016
Brad Binder, Aragon Moto3 Race 2016
Brad Binder, Aragon Moto3 Race 2016
Brad Binder, Aragon Moto3 Race 2016
Brad Binder, Aragon Moto3 Race 2016
Brad Binder, Aragon Moto3 Race 2016
Brad Binder, Aragon Moto3 Race 2016
Brad Binder, Aragon Moto3 Race 2016
Brad Binder, Aragon Moto3 Race 2016
Guevara, Aragon Moto3 Race 2016
Brad Binder, Aragon Moto3 Race 2016

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