MotoGP France Le Mans FP1 LIVE: Pol Espargaro in the lead, Quartararo 4th

Coincidentally, the World Championship arrives at Le Mans in its 7th stage, already in its third stage, and the situation at the top of the standings is still just as fragile.

The observation is simple, the two pilots that stand out slightly, Fabio Quartararo and the incredible Alessio Espargaròthey are the two drivers of the Top 15 who have not suffered an empty result: we say it and we repeat it constantly, in a championship without a real dominant boss, consistency pays!

Behind, but always at hand, Enea Bastianinialready author of two victories this year, e Alex Rinsin great difficulty in Spain, he will try to catch up on the Bugatti circuit, but the threat undoubtedly comes from behind, in this case from Francesco Bagnaiathe latest winner to date and in an upward spiral of confidence that could quickly take him to 3rd place: the Italian played a superb race in Spain, committing no faults despite the constant pressure exerted on him by our national devil. ..

MotoGP ™ Le Mans

2021

2022

1PQ

1’38.007 Jack Miller (See here)

1’31.771 Pol Espargarò
PQ2

1’31.747 Johann Zarco (See here)

3PQ

1’40.736 Marc Marquez (See here)

FP4

1’32.857 Fabio Quartararo (See here)

Q1

1’42.550 Lorenzo Savadori (See here)

Q2

1.32.600 Fabio Quartararo (See here)

Warm up

1’44.515 Danilo Petrucci (See here)

Race

Jack Miller, Johann Zarco, Fabio Quartararo (See here)

Disk

1’31.185 Johann Zarco (2018)

The other hexagonal representative, Giovanni Zarco, collected a second unsuccessful result in the Iberian Peninsula at the beginning of the season (after that of Argentina) but took the lead in the IRTA test in Jerez and came to compete in Le Mans for his national Grand Prix, which he had finished in 2nd place last year. What to start on the right foot in front of an audience all committed to his cause?

Unlike last year, Le Mans shouldn’t be playing one of its usual weather tricks on us: temperatures should also be quite high for this time of year, while rain shouldn’t disturb the weekend, except in race time!

While waiting to find out more, while the 24 riders prepare for this first 45-minute free practice session, under an absolutely clear Sarthe sky accompanied by temperatures of 13 ° C in the air and 14 ° C on the ground, we take advantage of these few live moments thanks to the official MotoGP.com website:

Let’s go for this first free practice session here at Le Mans! Alex Marquez, Franco Morbidelli and Andrea Dovizioso were the first to leave the pit lane.

And it’s the turn of our national championship leader, Fabio Quartararo, to get close to his mount for his first laps this weekend on the Bugatti circuit!

All the riders are on track, soon the first lap times will drop!

Alex Rins takes the lead at the end of this first lap. The Suzuki rider does not seem very upset by the announcement 11 days ago of his employer’s early retirement from the championship at the end of the season.

Rins is in first place in 1’33.314, ahead of last edition’s winner, Jack Miller, who will certainly be eager to do a good performance this weekend when the pressure on Pecco’s identity begins to be felt in Ducati. of Bagnaia’s team.

And it is Pol Espargaro’s turn to take first place. The Repsol Honda rider approaches the 1’32 window.

Fall of Enea Bastianini! The sun could be on the Sarthe this morning, the temperatures are still cool and the Italian was trapped at turn 8 losing his mind.

Rins regains first place, and this time he is in the window of 1’32! The Spaniard precedes Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo, who is currently doing a good lap.

Did you miss it? The shoulder camera is back!

Vinales pushes his lead to take the lead in the session in 1’32.418 ahead of Rins. Behind the two leaders is now Marc Marquez, another man who will be looking to confirm his recent progress here at Le Mans.

Brad Binder crashes at the first chicane! The South African lost the front of his KTM and managed to get up without any problems. He is gone, well helped by the marshals, whose speed and professionalism must be emphasized here.

Quartararo charged up again and placed himself in third position, while in front there was Miller who reappeared in the lead with a score of 1’32.345.

It can be seen that most drivers currently use soft tires at the front and medium tires at the rear.

And the best time for Quartararo! The Frenchman delighted the fans present at Le Mans, setting the provisional best time of five thousandths over Miller!

Miller’s Line! Quartararo did not keep his first place for long, dethroned a few seconds later by the Australian rival who regained the lead of more than two tenths. The two men engage in a magnificent first duel on the Sarthe!

A point on Johann Zarco. The Pramac rider is currently in tenth position, behind Marquez and ahead of the official Ducati rider Bagnaia.

First signs of boom-pump for Quartararo? The Frenchman, who suffered from this disease last year in Jerez, did not suffer from it this year in Andalusia two weeks ago. However, we saw him in his garage equipped with a funny tool probably aimed at relaxing the forearms.

Miller and Pol Espargaro continue to hold the upper hand ahead of Quartararo, but there is no doubt that the latter part of the session will result in a flurry of improvements from the various entrants.

After Brad Binder, it is Miguel Oliveira’s turn to fall into KTM. Another difficult start to the weekend for the Portuguese, who has so far known his victory in Indonesia only as white bread this season.

And a first rescue at Marc Marquez’s house! The Spaniard entered Turn 8 too quickly, overcoming the outer curb while continuing to decelerate at a high angle, risking losing control. Fortunately for number 93, he escaped with a rescue that he has the secret of!

Crash for Franco Morbidelli in turn 11. The Italian-Brazilian, who benefits from a contract in progress until the end of 2023, will have to react to the next races after a difficult start to the year if he wants to keep the favors of his employer.

Meanwhile Rins moved up to second place, between Miller still in the lead and Pol Espargaro.

Group shot by the Frenchman as we enter the last ten minutes of the session: Quartararo dropped to sixth according to the various improvements of his opponents, while Zarco for his part moved up to seventh.

Another crash for Oliveira, this time at turn 6. Bagnaia, arriving at full speed behind him, managed to avoid it thanks to a short off-road excursion.

Quartararo attempts a last time-attack to overtake Miller. The Nicoise is for the moment only 68 thousandths from the Australian, but is back in second position. Will he be able to complete this first session in the lead?

The long-distance duel between Miller and Quartararo continues, and they improve successively in the various sectors.

That’s it, Quartararo just took the lead with a time of 1’31.912, that is 49 thousandths better than Miller. The two men are the only ones playing in the 1’31 window for the moment. Quartararo remains on track and will try to bring home the point.

Rins and then Pol Espargaro followed each other at the top of the standings! Bagnaia also advances, bringing Quartararo back to fourth position.

And finally it was Espargaro who finished this first free practice session in the lead, with a time of 1’31.771, ahead of Rins and Bagnaia. Quartararo is a solid fourth, ahead of Aleix Espargaro and Joan Mir. Miller meanwhile finished the session in seventh position, ahead of Vinales and Zarco. Luca Marini completes the top 10.

Results of the FP1 of the French MotoGP Grand Prix at Le Mans:

Ranking credit: MotoGP.com

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