Brilliant Marquez makes it five in a row

MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) produced another masterclass at Le Mans to win from pole again, with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) also on the podium. 

Marquez produced a fantastic fightback after an early mistake to lead by a second on lap 16 having been 10th on lap one. Rossi demonstrated his competitiveness again to lead for several laps in the first half of the race but ultimately could not hold off the rampant Marquez. Whilst Rossi achieved his tenth premier class podium at Le Mans and his 150th in the top category, Marquez became the first rider to win five successive premier class races from pole since Mick Doohan in 1997. 

Meanwhile, it was Bautista¢s first podium since 2012 and a great reward for the determination he has shown since his three DNFs at the start of the season. An excellent ride from rookie Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) saw him hold off Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) for fourth. Pedrosa appeared to be riding in significant discomfort after recent arm pump surgery. 

Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) finished three seconds behind Pedrosa in the unfamiliar territory of sixth for the 2010 and 2012 MotoGP World Champion. Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) recovered from his recent arm operation for seventh, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) also in the top ten.

motoGP: Marquez thunders to 5th consecutive pole taking new lap record en route

Having secured MotoGP pole again at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France Marc Marquez will head the grid for Sunday¢s fifth race of 2014, with the front row also featuring Pol Espargaro and Andrea Dovizioso. 

After the first flying laps Marquez was immediately top with a 1'32.567, to set a new fastest ever lap of Le Mans, the World Champion then improving to a remarkable 1'32.042 time to maintain his 100% qualifying record in 2014. Repsol Honda¢s Marquez was 0.692s clear of rookie Espargaro with the latter securing his best MotoGP grid result to date. Espargaro¢s performance at his team¢s home round will fill him with confidence ahead of just his fifth premier class race. Making good use of the extra soft tyre Ducati Team¢s Andrea Dovizioso qualified 0.713s behind Marquez to take the final spot on the front row. 

The second row features Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP), who has recovered quickly from arm pump surgery since Jerez, with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) reaching his personal target of qualifying in the top five as he slots in behind the German. Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was 0.857s off pole in sixth place but he will still be confident of a good race at a venue where he has a strong record. 

Making up an all Spanish the third row are Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini), top Open rider Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team)also recovering from arm pump surgery since Jerez.


Marquez on the pace on Friday afternoon

As the MotoGP action on the first day of the 2014 Monster Energy Grand Prix de France concluded at Le Mans, Marc Marquez outpaced his fellow premier class riders, leading the way from Andrea Iannone and Alvaro Bautista in FP2. 

Having also topped the timesheet in the morning session, Marquez quickened the pace in the afternoon sunshine, registering a 1¢33.452 best time, which is under the fastest lap in a race at Le Mans set by Dani Pedrosa in 2011. Behind Repsol Honda man Marquez in FP2 was the impressive Iannone (Pramac Racing) who appears to be enjoying his riding more than ever this season. He was just 0.007s behind Marquez whilst GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider Bautista was just over 0.2s down. 

Making up for a big crash in FP1, Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) was fourth best with a time less than 0.5s off Marquez¢ pace – whilst Pedrosa was fifth with a similar pace to Smith. Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP), Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) were also within a top ten which was completed by Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). Rossi produced a slight, late improvement to move up from 11th, despite a run off track towards the end of the session.