Quartararo snatches a last-gasp home pole position for the French MotoGP at a damp Le Mans, ahead of team-mate Vinales and Ducati's Miller.

Marc Marquez had been on pole with just a few minutes to go, but was pushed down to sixth.

Petronas team-mates Morbidelli and Rossi were the only riders to chose slicks at the start, buying them a few more minutes of track time compared to their rivals, who soon pitted for their 'dry' bikes.

However Rossi suffered a near highside at the final corner, ruining not only his first flying lap but meaning he was also slow across the line at the start of his next lap, by which time the others were also up to speed on slicks.

Oliveira fell with 3mins to go, bringing out yellow flags, just as rain began to fall once again.

But the session wasn't over yet with the likes of Zarco, Vinales and then Quartararo saving their best to last, while Pol Espargaro crashed out at Turn 3.

Quartararo is riding for the first time since arm-pump surgery on his right forearm.

Reigning champion Mir and current world championship leader Bagnaia didn't get beyond Qualifying 1 and will start from 14th and 16th respectively.

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.

Rain remains a risk throughout Sunday.

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French MotoGP, Le Mans - Full Qualifying Results
PosRiderNatTeamTime/DiffLapMax
1Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)1'32.600s9/9312k
2Maverick ViñalesSPAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.081s9/9311k
3Jack MillerAUSDucati Team (GP21)+0.104s9/9322k
4Franco MorbidelliITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.166s9/9309k
5Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP21)+0.277s9/9323k
6Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.437s6/8313k
7Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+0.520s5/7321k
8Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.550s5/8320k
9Valentino RossiITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.791s9/9310k
10Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)+1.267s6/6311k
11Lorenzo SavadoriITAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)*+1.658s5/7303k
12Luca MariniITASky VR46 Avintia Ducati (GP19)*+1.665s9/9319k
 Qualifying 1:     
13Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)1'43.418s8/9307k
14Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)1'43.422s9/9304k
15Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)1'43.523s9/9306k
16Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Team (GP21)1'43.53s9/9312k
17Danilo PetrucciITAKTM Tech3 (RC16)1'43.857s9/9301k
18Iker LecuonaSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)1'44.324s9/9303k
19Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)1'45.146s5/6306k
20Tito RabatSPAPramac Ducati (GP21)1'45.59s6/7300k
21Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)1'45.911s5/8301k
22Enea BastianiniITAAvintia Ducati (GP19)*1'46.123s5/8292k

* Rookie.
Fastest Friday time:
Johann Zarco FRA Ducati 1m 31.747s

(FP2)
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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