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Marquez bounces back from crashes to grab MotoGP pole at Le Mans

MotoGP world champion suffers a pair of crashes on qualifying day, but still finishes the day at the front of the grid for the French Grand Prix.

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MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez claimed his third pole position in five races this season by grabbing the top spot in qualifying for the French Grand Prix.

Conditions were cold and wet at Le Mans as the riders battled tricky conditions at the French circuit, and Marquez suffered a spill during the final free practice session of the day as he came off at Turn 9.

But the Spanish star was typically unfazed by the fall and set the fastest time of the session before going into qualifying later in the day.

And, in rainy conditions, the Repsol Honda man recovered from an early fall at Turn 6 to power his #93 machine to the 55th MotoGP pole position of his career.

(Pic: Honda Racing Corporation)

(Pic: Honda Racing Corporation)

That mark sees Marquez draw level with MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi and moved him to just three poles behind all-time record holder Mick Doohan.

“Today was one of those days! The conditions meant you didn’t know if a slick or a wet tyre would be best with the light rain, it was really difficult,” said a happy Marquez after the session.

“In qualifying we knew we had to push on the first lap when there was the least water on track. Then with more water on track it got more difficult.

“I’m happy with this pole because it was a day where you could easily start from the back if you weren’t careful. Now we see what the weather does tomorrow!”

(Pic: Honda Racing Corporation)

(Pic: Honda Racing Corporation)

FRENCH GRAND PRIX: CONFIRMED MOTOGP GRID

  1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) – 1’40.952
  2. Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati) – 0.360
  3. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) – 0.414
  4. Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) – 0.600
  5. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha) – 0.703
  6. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha) – 0.729
  7. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) – 1.107
  8. Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda) – 1.115
  9. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team) – 1.498
  10. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) – 1.557
  11. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) – 1.603
  12. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM) – No time set in Q2

Freelance sports writer and MMA reporter with 20 years’ experience in the UK's national media covering major sporting events including UFC world title fights, Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championships, Grand National and the FA Cup Final.