2015 Le Mans MotoGP Qualifying Results: Late Charge Seals Convincing Pole

Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class at Le Mans:

Marc Marquez has secured a very convincing pole position, posting a scorching lap in the dying moments of Q2 to secure top slot on the grid. The Spaniard held off late challenges from Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso and Movistar Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo. Lorenzo, who had laid down a scorching pace in the dry, was a little cautious on his first outing on a track which was still not completely dry, then made a mistake on his fast lap that left him in 3rd.

Cal Crutchlow heads up the second row, disappointed to end off the front row, but starting ahead of Andrea Iannone and Bradley Smith. Valentino Rossi had looked good for a second row start until later in the session, when he was knocked back to 7th, and the third row. He starts ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Danilo Petrucci.

Petrucci had made it through to Q2 along with Aleix Espargaro, Q1 having been a much more difficult affair. The track was a lot damper, but Espargaro posted a string of superb laps in Q1, despite still recovering from a massive highside earlier today.


Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 93 Marc Marquez Honda 1'32.246    
2 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1'32.749 0.503 0.503
3 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1'32.846 0.600 0.097
4 35 Cal Crutchlow Honda 1'32.897 0.651 0.051
5 29 Andrea Iannone Ducati 1'33.001 0.755 0.104
6 38 Bradley Smith Yamaha 1'33.299 1.053 0.298
7 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'33.352 1.106 0.053
8 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1'33.419 1.173 0.067
9 9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1'33.556 1.310 0.137
10 41 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki 1'33.665 1.419 0.109
11 68 Yonny Hernandez Ducati 1'33.714 1.468 0.049
12 44 Pol Espargaro Yamaha 1'33.724 1.478 0.010
To Q2
Q2 9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1'33.923    
Q2 41 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki 1'34.213 0.290 0.290
13 25 Maverick Viñales Suzuki 1'34.245 0.322 0.032
14 69 Nicky Hayden Honda 1'34.267 0.344 0.022
15 45 Scott Redding Honda 1'34.551 0.628 0.284
16 6 Stefan Bradl Yamaha Forward 1'34.575 0.652 0.024
17 63 Mike Di Meglio Ducati 1'34.833 0.910 0.258
18 43 Jack Miller Honda 1'34.858 0.935 0.025
19 8 Hector Barbera Ducati 1'34.870 0.947 0.012
20 17 Karel Abraham Honda 1'34.940 1.017 0.070
21 50 Eugene Laverty Honda 1'34.947 1.024 0.007
22 76 Loris Baz Yamaha Forward 1'35.456 1.533 0.509
23 19 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 1'35.458 1.535 0.002
24 15 Alex De Angelis ART 1'35.680 1.757 0.222
25 33 Marco Melandri Aprilia 1'37.522 3.599 1.842


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I just took a closer look at the free practice and qualifying sessions and noticed something very strange comparing Rossi and Lorenzo, specifically trap speed.

Lorenzo appears to be pretty consistently be between 305 and 310, while Rossi on Friday barely broke 300kph - and often didn't, even on laps in 33.8 range.

On Rossi's best QP2 lap, his trap speed was 301kph - even in FP3 he was at 305, which is still slow but 301 is VERY slow, like Suzuki slow. We all know that top speed at Le Mans is all about drive off the corner and carried speed. Last year it was 306, while Marquez was also about 306.

So is Rossi running the sandbag to end all sandbags here, or is he just massively struggling with especially that last corner and lost his way on set-up? The rest of the field seems "consistent with expectations", but this is a somewhat bizarre thing to see.

Great observation Cgate, and I wish I knew what goes on for Vale re Qualifying. So does everyone except maybe himself? He seems attached to doing things via feel and "his own way." It serves him well generally, and is in his "dominant functioning" makeup. Last race he tried the 3 tire strategy, it's not like he is rigid re what he does. But how he does it, he is hooked into his own rhythm that the bike will dance to. Qualifying is just plain too brief for that to come out into full song.

Lemans sure makes clear data re getting power down since the straights have you coming from such a disrupted flow and near stand still. There is a joke in here about a Lemans start but I haven't had any coffee yet this morning. Crutchlow and Smith sure are impressing. Pedrosa has found speed for shorter distance so his new arm is passing a first function test. Marquez's hand sure didn't bother him very long, did it? Get some good sleep tonight Dovi, tomorrow is a big day for you (and let's see if the greater tuneability of Ducati electronics can get that wee bit more transfer of drive out of the corners. If not, #4 might take note of how #35 is picking the bike up out of corners as it looks GOOD).

Cheers mates!

I don't know if it is the case this time, but often speed traps are set too close to the braking zone, so that late brakers get much higher top speed readings. Now with Lorenzo and Rossi, I would say Rossi is more of a late braker than Lorenzo, so that would not explain the higher top speed of Lorenzo. However, at Le Mans the speed trap is set at the entry of the fast first corner, so it probably has to do with Lorenzo carrying more speed into the fast right-hander.
Another factor could be a different choice of gearing. Anyway, a difference of 10 kph is really a lot at those speeds. It would normally represent a lot of extra power to account for that.

I wish Aprilia would put Melandri out of his misery. Unless, of course, that he is continually working on project parts. Obviously they all know things we don't and maybe it's that Melandri is really fast but slowed by development? Wishful thinking for me, I've always been a fan of his.

1st Michelin test
If Melandri and everyone else can hang in there until the first Michelin test that would be a good focus. Poor Marco, he will need a shaman visit to shake out the fumes of DeAngelis' ART he has been breathing.

Redemption may lay in the low expectations virtually everyone has for him. Look at what he did on the Hayate after a similarly crap turn of events. He has it in him. This year's Aprilia does not have much in it for him to exploit. The 2016 bike is one to watch on the other hand.

If I were him I would focus on developing relationships in the garage and Aprilia Racing with forward focus on the Michelin front tire. Laying fallow is an essential piece of crop rotation, especially if changing crops. Not as bad a spot to be in as one might assume. Ask Edwards a year ago. Marco may be resting at the proper time and arise a phoenix at the season's end.

Simple explaination is tyres for me, Rossi and Lorenzo's flip flop in form is all due to Brisgestones tyre allocation, Rossi doesn't gel with the medium or soft and seems hell bent on Race setup all weekend, which is clever however no good when the medium clearly won't last for him as he wants it to in the race.

And can somebody there at Le man go and slap the TV director? Or suggest that we get anyone bar a Spainiard to switch the cameras. The current guys love affair with Lorenzo and covering him even when he is dawdling on the track or in the pits is now starting to become farcical.

David is there somewhere we can make official complaints/ suggestions?