If there was any doubt over the present machinery hierarchy in MotoGP, Saturday's qualifying session at Le Mans seemed to spell out the status quo.

By the end of qualifying, four Hondas were followed by four Yamahas, then three Ducatis and a Suzuki.

Given that Le Mans has traditionally been a strong Yamaha circuit, there now seems little doubt that the factory RC212V has overtaken the M1 in terms of being best all-round package.

Yamaha's reigning world champion and title leader Jorge Lorenzo, who saw his seven-race run of front row starts end with fifth on the grid at Le Mans, hopes he can fight for the podium on Sunday.

"We start on the second row for tomorrow; we will try to keep our pace of 34.0 or 34.1 seconds. If we can do this then maybe we can fight for the podium. If other riders make some mistakes and are not fast enough and we are a little bit faster then it's possible to fight for more," said Lorenzo.

Lorenzo was half a second from pole man Casey Stoner, with the top Ducati of Valentino Rossi 1.053sec behind.

Alvaro Bautista, the only Suzuki rider, lapped 1.360sec from Stoner.

The last five places on the grid - 13th to 17th - will see three satellite Ducatis sandwiched between two satellite Hondas.

 

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