Le Mans, France

Le Mans MotoGP Saturday Round Up: Qualifying Surprises, Evaluating Aleix, And Retiring Numbers

The MotoGP riders are hoping that Le Mans doesn't turn into another Portimão. In Portugal, they spent two days perfecting their wet setup, only to find themselves racing in the dry with next to no time on a dry track, outside of morning warm up. At Le Mans, it could well be the opposite. Two days of practice in near-perfect conditions, only for the race to be held in the rain. Or not, the forecast changes every time you look at it.

The weather isn't the only thing capable of surprising. All through FP3 and FP4, a very clear pattern emerged. The reigning world champion had come to his home grand prix with a plan, and vengeance in his heart. Still smarting from finishing second in Jerez, Fabio Quartararo is intent on stamping his authority on the French Grand Prix at Le Mans.

The Frenchman's rhythm in free practice was fearsome. 1'31.7s with used tires in FP3, 1'31.6s with used tires in FP4. Not single laps either, but effortlessly stringing together runs of lap after lap. The only riders who came close to that kind of pace were Alex Rins and Aleix Espargaro, but they didn't have the consistency which Quartararo was displaying.

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2022 Le Mans MotoGP FP4 Result: Quartararo Shines On Home Soil

Premier class riders showed off their pace in a particularly hot and potentially irrelevant FP4 session, given that the forecast for Sunday has rainclouds all over it. In the eventuality that capricious Le Mans stays dry, Fabio Quartararo looks to have the upper hand on rhythm, the home favourite ending the session at the top of the timesheets, in a display of consistency. Alex Rins gave him a bit of a challenge but settled for second by one hundredth of a second, with Pecco Bagnaia predictably joining them in the top three.

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2022 Le Mans Moto2 FP3 Result: Acosta Back To Breaking Records

Given the pace shown by the intermediate class on Friday, it will come as no surprise that the lap record fell once again but perhaps the bigger surprise was that it was Pedro Acosta who snatched the new one, the rookie navigating around some late yellow flags to post the first valid 1:35 time around Le Mans on a Moto2 machine. The Spaniard picked up top spot in the final couple of minutes of the session by demoting teammate Augusto Fernandez by a tenth of a second.

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