Ever-changing conditions made for a demanding day in France, Alex Marquez and Stefan Bradl adapting throughout the day and pleased with the work done in Free Practice 4.
Times were immediately faster despite the cold conditions on Saturday morning, riders setting their best times of the weekend just a few laps into Free Practice 3. Conditions would continue to improve throughout the day, track temperature more than doubling between FP3 and Qualifying.
Alex Marquez was able to keep the pace and improved his lap time on multiple occasions throughout the first session to remain in top-ten contention. Unfortunately, the MotoGP rookie was the victim of a harmless crash at Turn 3, typical of the Le Mans circuit in the cold conditions. A red flag during Free Practice 4 added further disruption to the day, but Alex made a strong start to Q1 and saw himself in contention for a transfer spot. A 1’32.774 will see Alex lining up just behind fellow rookie Brad Binder with the Honda rider eyeing progress forward with so many riders showing a similar pace.
The colder temperatures did not deter a refreshed Stefan Bradl who headed on track as soon as FP3 began. Like his teammate, Bradl suffered a fall during the session at the final corner and walked away unharmed. Cutting 0.8s off his best time from FP3 to Q1, Bradl ended the session as the 11th fastest rider. Stefan’s 1’32.861 was just a tenth of a second off starting two rows further up the grid. Working on used tyres in FP4, Bradl is ready to fight forward on Sunday.
Cal Crutchlow returned to form, battling for pole position in Q2 until the finale moments. The LCR Honda rider will start from the head of the second row as the top Honda.
Sunday’s 27-lap MotoGP race will begin at 13:00 Local Time after the Moto3 race.
French GP Qualifying Classification
Built in 1965 around the existing 24-Hour track, the Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit lies 5km south of the city of Le Mans and 200km south-west of Paris. The venue has hosted Grand Prix since the late sixties but a serious accident to Spanish rider Alberto Puig in… read more.
|Length||4.185 kilometres / 2.6 miles|
|Longest straight||0.674 kilometres / 0.419 miles|
|Resurfacing||Resurfaced before 2017 round|
Automobile Club de l'Ouest, Le Mans, France - View in Google Maps
|Pole Position||1m 30.450s (166.5km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2022)|
|Race Lap||1m 31.778s (164.1km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2022)|
|Race Time||41m 34.613s (163 km/h) Enea Bastianini (Ducati, 2022)|
|2023 Race Winner||Marco Bezzecchi (Ducati)|
|2023 Sprint Winner||Jorge Martin (Ducat)|