Sam Lowes was untouchable as he powered to pole position with a new lap record in qualifying for the French Moto2 Grand Prix, round five of the championship.

The Elf Marc VDS rider was unmatched as he picked up where he left off in practice, which he lead with the best time, but also from the Jerez Grand prix where he converted that pole into a win.

His falls on Friday did not damage his ability to press hard, and having found the limit the British rider could push to the limit for an impressive 1m 35.791s - a new lap record for the intermediate class at le Mans.



Alonso Lopez came closest, chipping away to climb to second , climbing there from eighth as both riders avoided having their best runs damaged by late crashes around the track. The Lightech Speed Up rider pulled himself to with in 0.245s of the pole time.

Lowes’ teammate Tony Arbolino was previously the rider applying pressure. The #14 saw his best lap pushed back to third, but still holds a second front row spot for Marc VDS. It is the Italian’s best qualifying performance so far this season.

Filip Salac briefly topped the timesheets racing around with Celestino Vietti and chasing down Barry Baltus. The Gresini rider had his last lap cancelled due to a crash for Aron Canet, which saw the red flag end the session early, iwt his bike sat in the middle of the track at turn three, leaving the Czech rider fourth.

Pedro Acosta was also gaining when the session ended abruptly, ending his front row hopes. The championship leader, who took pole in 2022 at Le Mans, will start fifth this time out for Red Bull KTM Ajo.

Vietti went on to sixth, but managed an incredible save earlier in the session in the same turn where he had fallen earlier in the day. Lesson learned, this time his waving leg balanced the Italian out, though he was the first rider to take the chequered flag, which came out before Canet fell.

Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) mastered the wet to top the damp P3 session and went on to secure seventh ahead of Jake Dixon who could only watch as he dropped to eight after a late fall from his Aspar bike.

Manuel Gonzalez ( Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Master Camp) will fill ninth, while Barry Baltus, who set an early benchmark lap to briefly lead the way did enough to complete the top ten for Fieten Oile Racing GP.

He was the best of the Q1 riders, just ahead of Fermin Aldeguer, who came up with the best time on the Boscoscuro to claim eleventh.

While Lowes seemed unbothered by his previous trips into the gravel, it seemed to change Aron Canet’s demeanor, not himself even before the final fall, he lines up down the grid in 13th for Pons Wegow Los40.

Crashes for both Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) and Lukas Tulovic (Liqui Moly Intact GP) left them 14th hand 15th respectively after moving up from Q1.

Ai Ogura was also off the pace as he contines his injury comeback, 16th was the best the Idemitsu rider could manage in qualifying.


What happened in Q1?

After sitting in the progression places for much of the session Sean Dylan Kelly lost out to a lap from Barry Baltus, with late progress almost impossible the American Racing rider was left fifth, for 19th on the grid.

His teammate Rory Skinner put in his fastest lap of the weekend despite being under the weather but it was still only enough for 12th in Q1 in the very close intermediate class, so starts 26th.

Moto3 champion Izan Guevara remains off the pace as he continues his comeback from injury. The Inde Gas Gas Aspar rider could only manage a lap good enough for 28th. Dennis Foggia (Italtrans)also failed to move up to Q2 but was a much higher ninth in Q1 -  for 22nd on the grid.

Injuries and replacements


Kohta Nozane attempted to pass the checks necessary to compete at the track on Thursday. He was declared unfit so is not replaced.

Darryn Binder also remains sidelined. Senna Agius is back in at Liqui Moly Intact GP to fill in, qualifying 24th.