Home stars Zarco and Quartararo lead the way during a dry Free Practice 2 for the French MotoGP at Le Mans.

After a damp track in the morning session, which saw some slicks appear in the final ten minutes, FP2 took place on a fully dry track but with forecasts of more rain on Saturday morning, riders knew this afternoon's session might well decide direct access to Qualifying 2.

That pressure to push - combined with low temperatures - contributed to a spate of accidents, with Aprilia's Espargaro and then Ducati world championship leader Bagnaia early front-end fallers on entry to the notorious Turn 3 chicane, a stunned Espargaro then falling again at the very same corner soon after.

Quartararo, riding for the first time since arm-pump surgery on his right forearm and fastest from the start of FP2 until Zarco's attack in the final minute, also joined the Turn 3 fallers club at the midway stage of the session, then Rins in the closing stages.

Morning leader Miller bucked the Turn 3 trend by sliding off at Turn 7 and world champion Mir at Turn 8, where Marc Marquez ran off track but remained upright.

Injured rookie Jorge Martin is again replaced by Rabat. Marquez, sidelined for nine months after complications to a broken right arm at Jerez last July, is taking part in his third event since returning to MotoGP action.

Lecuona has a three-second time penalty for the race after causing a crash, with Alex Marquez, at Jerez.

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French MotoGP, Le Mans - Free Practice (2) Results
Pos RiderNatTeamTime/DiffLapMax
1^1Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP21)1'31.747s20/21321k
2^14Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.095s14/16316k
3^9Maverick ViñalesSPAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.389s22/22314k
4=Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.390s19/23321k
5^8Franco MorbidelliITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.532s18/21311k
6^2Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)+0.549s20/20315k
7˅6Jack MillerAUSDucati Team (GP21)+0.614s20/20320k
8˅3Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.885s19/19317k
9^5Valentino RossiITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.922s23/24313k
10^5Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+0.964s7/20315k
11˅2Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+1.015s7/18315k
12˅5Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Team (GP21)+1.053s7/12321k
13˅10Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+1.161s16/22315k
14˅4Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)+1.199s11/12316k
15^2Iker LecuonaSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)+1.293s18/20313k
16^2Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+1.370s20/20314k
17˅6Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+1.457s20/22323k
18^3Tito RabatSPAPramac Ducati (GP21)+1.614s22/22313k
19^3Enea BastianiniITAAvintia Ducati (GP19)*+1.789s14/16317k
20˅14Lorenzo SavadoriITAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)*+2.238s18/21309k
21˅1Luca MariniITASky VR46 Avintia Ducati (GP19)*+2.400s18/20314k
22˅3Danilo PetrucciITAKTM Tech3 (RC16)+2.773s5/19311k

^X Rider is X positions higher than FP1.
= Rider is same position as FP1.
˅X Rider is X positions lower than FP1.

* Rookie.
Official Le Mans MotoGP records:
Best lap:
Johann Zarco FRA Yamaha 1m 31.185s (2018)
Fastest race lap:
Maverick Vinales SPA Yamaha 1m 32.309s (2017)

By Peter McLaren


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