2013 Le Mans MotoGP QP Result: Lap Times Tumble in Chaotic Qualifying

Summary of qualifying and results for MotoGP:

Marc Marquez has taken his second pole position of the season following a blisteringly fast MotoGP qualifying session. The dynamic rookie fought off a stern challenge from Jorge Lorenzo, finishing a mere three hundredths of a second ahead of his newest rival and compatriot. Andrea Dovizioso caused a huge surprise by ending the session with a rapid lap that saw him snatch the final spot on the front row and trump the battered Briton Cal Crutchlow by six thousandths of a second.

Stefan Bradl and Dani Pedrosa will join Crutchlow on the second row of the grid for the race tomorrow. Pedrosa had to recover from a setback early in the session, crashing at the approach to the Dunlop chicane and having to complete the session riding his second bike. 

The third row will comprise Alvaro Bautista, Valentino Rossi and Bradley Smith who finished in seventh, eighth and ninth places respectively. It was Bradley Smith's best qualifying effort to date as the Tech 3 Yamaha youngster continues to make steady progress in his debut season.

Nicky Hayden, who had a disappointing session when compared to his teammate and the two ART Aprilia riders of Aleix Espargaro and Randy DePuniet, who entered Q2 after topping the Q1 session, completed the fourth row of the grid.

Results Q2:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Previous
1 93 Marc Marquez Honda 1'33.187    
2 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1'33.217 0.030 0.030
3 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1'33.603 0.416 0.386
4 35 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 1'33.609 0.422 0.006
5 6 Stefan Bradl Honda 1'33.634 0.447 0.025
6 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1'33.639 0.452 0.005
7 19 Alvaro Bautista Honda 1'33.984 0.797 0.345
8 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'34.009 0.822 0.025
9 38 Bradley Smith Yamaha 1'34.222 1.035 0.213
10 69 Nicky Hayden Ducati 1'34.242 1.055 0.020
11 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia ART 1'34.754 1.567 0.512
12 14 Randy de Puniet Aprilia ART 1'35.086 1.899 0.332

Results Q1:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Previous
1 14 Randy de Puniet Aprilia ART 1'34.715    
2 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia ART 1'34.893 0.178 0.178
3 29 Andrea Iannone Ducati 1'35.062 0.347 0.169
4 51 Michele Pirro Ducati 1'35.228 0.513 0.166
5 8 Hector Barbera FTR Kawasaki 1'35.714 0.999 0.486
6 9 Danilo Petrucci Suter BMW 1'35.770 1.055 0.056
7 5 Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki 1'36.221 1.506 0.451
8 17 Karel Abraham Aprilia ART 1'36.271 1.556 0.050
9 71 Claudio Corti FTR Kawasaki 1'36.330 1.615 0.059
10 70 Michael Laverty PBM 1'36.596 1.881 0.266
11 67 Bryan Staring FTR Honda 1'36.714 1.999 0.118
12 52 Lukas Pesek Suter BMW 1'36.768 2.053 0.054
13 68 Yonny Hernandez Aprilia ART 1'36.961 2.246 0.193
14 7 Hiroshi Aoyama FTR Kawasaki 1'37.523 2.808 0.562


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Since VR is no longer with Squadra Rossa, are they making progress here at LeMans or is it just it a one-time lucky deal? It would be nice for a moto-journo to investigate what changes (if any) are being made to the Ducati.

Ducatis go well at Le Mans. As discussed elsewhere on MM, with Dovi's style and the French track also helping, it is not necessarily any marked step forward. Sadly.

Still, more fuel for the Ducati vs Rossi saga- especially should Dovi beat Vale in the race- something that looks more possible than any race thus far.

Congratulation to Marc Marquez 2nd pole from 4 attempts, often good results in lower classes don`t translate to the top level. It seems in this case they most surely do. He also seems "lucky",dosen`t hurt himself, unlike his team mate used to. Congrats also to Brad Smith,going a lot better than i think many expected. Hopefully a great DRY race tomorrow.
P.S. I know its early in the season but how is CRT engine use going??

describes Dovi's qualifying lap.

If you look at his compared to Rossi's P4 times you will see Dovi has no chance of beating Rossi in the race..none.

Ducati's recurring tire problems will thwart any chance of a podium, & Rossi actually looks quite possibly, a podium contender if Pedrossa can't find a form which he has yet to demonstrate this weekend.

You may be correct but there's been a long absence of even flying laps from Ducati, it's a step in the right direction even if it's a little misleading in terms of the race.

Marquez has never raced a MotoGP bike in the wet. Not only does it rain a lot at the French GP, it also appears to be a particularly slippy track in the wet too. Hopefully he does not come to grief but it will be interesting to see how he adapts!

Given Vale ran strongly on the Ducati in the downpours of the past few seasons I would be surprised if he was not on the podium.

Question about the new qualifying setup: Iannone's fastest lap in Q1 was a 1:35.062 - with A. Espagaro and DePuniet faster. However, in Q2, DePuniet's time is a 1:35.086 - so who starts where?

The times that the top 12 post in QP2 are irrelevant to positions 13-whatever which are decided through QP1 directly. Makes sense, as a hypothetical radical deterioration of the weather, for example, would place all the riders from QP1 in an advantageous position and the "fast" guys would fall unfairly at the back of the grid.

Cal Crutchlow may be the toughest human being alive!

But he's going to have to stop proving it every weekend if he wants to get some podium finishes. :)

David is correct regarding the layout of Le Mans not hindering the Ducatis so much as tracks with long, fast sweeping corners. Of course, this refers to the 'Rossi' Ducatis, not the 'Stoner' Ducatis, which won many races on tracks with long sweeping corners, Phillip Island being a very obvious example, a track where a fast lap averages 175 km/h. My take is that Dovizioso is having a big go in qualifying to give his employer some positive publicity - and make the team realise that if they do set the chassis geometry correctly, he will respond in kind. I have respected Dovi as a trier in the past. His problem was that for 2012, Honda only wanted two riders in the Repsol Honda factory team and although Dovi finished 2011 ahead of Pedrosa in the championship, in third place, Honda stuck with Dani. Last year Dovi finished fourth in the championship on a satellite Yamaha, behind Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Stoner. It will be a major achievement for him to take fourth in this year's championship, but if he does, I think more than a few journos better apologise for their past criticisms of him.

Even Rossi said the main understeer issue that they had when he arrived was virtually the same when he left. Stoner was able to overcome this by shrewd setup and actively oversteering the hell out of the bike to make it turn. Rossi found out that was a very hard trick to replicate. But it's not that the bike characteristics changed all of a sudden when Rossi arrived. If anything the chronic understeer should have gotten a bit better as they were actively focusing on dialing it out with chassis development for the first time, though they weren't very successful.

I read somewhere that some racing car drivers like a slightly under steering car because it gives them a bit more stability and confidence to manhandle it a bit more. Maybe Stoner was a bit like that as well, though in the end he was sick of fighting the Ducati front end as well