The Repsol Honda Team had a positive Saturday at Le Mans. Their two riders went straight through to Q2 and will start the French Grand Prix race from the second and third row of the grid.
Marc Márquez, who this morning made the cut for Q2, will start from sixth tomorrow. The eight-time World Champion matched his best qualifying result of the year with a position he had previously taken at the Portuguese Grand Prix.
With a best time of 1:33.037, Márquez was less than half a second behind the pole time and showed again, in mixed conditions, that his feeling is improving day after day.
On the other side of the box, Pol Espargaró also went straight into Q2, for the first time since joining the Repsol Honda Team. Espargaró was eighth fastest with a time of 1:33.150.
The work done during the Jerez test began to bear fruit and Espargaró set a good pace, just over half a second off pole position.
The French Grand Prix takes place tomorrow at 2pm CEST.
“This morning in the wet I was feeling more ‘normal’, because it’s less demanding on the physical side. I was riding well in FP4 and also in Qualifying, but the conditions weren’t perfect and the grip was low which meant slower lap times. When it’s like this I am riding better but when you have to really push to the limit, that’s when it is harder with my physical condition. It was a bit of a shame in Qualifying as I was the first rider to take the flag and it looks like one more lap could have been a big help. But I am pleased with what we have accomplished today.”
“I’m disappointed with myself. After some hard races, we had a chance to fight for the top three or even pole. I was taking it easy two laps from the end because it started to rain but these two laps cooled the tyre a bit too much, then when I asked more from the tyre it couldn’t take it and I went down. I was two tenths faster than Fabio and Jack through the first sector and they ended on the front row. We showed the potential we have, which is good, but it’s also a shame because there was a lot on offer today. Tomorrow is a new day and a lot can happen in the race.”