If Q1 was any indication, pole at Le Mans was going to be an even more stressful affair than usual, with a damp but rapidly drying track covered by the inky blackness of clouds setting the stage for Q2. And the premier class put in a performance to match the dramatic decor. After a tentative outlap on wet rubber, slicks became the flavour of the day and some unusual challengers mixed in with the names you would expect to shine in the tricky conditions. When rain made a comeback in parts of the track with two minutes remaining, it looked like a surprise Honda front row lockout, but conditions improved quick enough for Yamaha to spoil their party and allow Fabio Quartararo to claim a second consecutive pole on home soil. He was closely followed by teammate Maverick Viñales, with Jack Miller closing the front row of the grid after spending most of the session at the front, enjoying the unpredictable conditions.
Franco Morbidelli quickly forgot about the lightly twisted ankle he gained earlier today to climb onto the second row of the grid, only a tenth of a second slower than his former teammate. Johann Zarco joins him on row two, together with Marc Marquez and his FP4-scuffed leathers, who held provisional pole until the surprise late attack that demoted him to sixth position. Colleague Takaaki Nakagami followed the Spaniard on track and on the timesheets, opening the third row from Pol Espargaro, who also had hopes for pole, had he not crashed at turn 7 on his final flying lap.
Valentino Rossi will be looking to make a comeback from a difficult start of the year from ninth on the grid, while Miguel Oliveira completed the top ten after a late tumble. The KTM man will be joined on the fourth row by the surprising Q1 graduates: Lorenzo Savadori and Luca Marini. The damper but rapidly improving conditions in Q1 caused some major headaches and when it all came down to the final flying lap, Savadori timed it to perfection, the Aprilia man eight tenths faster than his closest rival, having sprinted back to pitlane Marquez-style early in the session after a crash at the final corner. Marini made good use of the Bagnaia caravan to secure second, leaving some major names to fight it out from the second half of the grid.
Premature celebrations for Aleix Espargaro proved costly as he did not take advantage of his final flying lap and got demoted to 13th on the grid, but in fine company from the two Suzukis led by Joan Mir. Pecco Bagnaia had a slightly worse afternoon, the championship leader having to defend that position from 16th on the grid, alongside the Tech 3 duo of Danilo Petrucci and Iker Lecuona.