Le Mans proved to be a Honda-friendly track today, as all four true-blooded factory Honda machines took the four top spots on the grid for tomorrow’s French GP. With the Hondas bunched up at the front, the groupings didn’t stop there as the next four spots were occupied by the Yamaha contingency, with Jorge Lorenzo leading Crutchlow, Edwards, and Spies respectively.
Ninth and tenth on the grid belong to Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden, while Randy de Puniet on the satellite Pramac Ducati will start 11th for his home GP. Both Hayden and Spies cited mistakes on their fast laps as being the cause for their poor qualifying, while Rossi’s squad was unable to capitalize on its softer-compound tire for an ultimate qualifying time.
Starting on pole will be Casey Stoner, as the Australian continues his superb form this season. Though the Repsol Honda rider has been the one to watch so far this season, he only beat out sophmore Marco Simoncelli by a margin of 0.059 seconds.
Simoncelli has seemingly found his stride this season, though his riding has prompted concerns in the MotoGP paddock, as many of the top riders went to the Safety Commission meeting to complain about the Italian’s riding. Rounding out the front row is Andrea Dovizioso, who bested teammate Dani Pedrosa by six-hundreths of a second. Full qualifying results after the jump.
Qualifying Results from the French GP at Le Mans, France:
|1||27||Casey STONER||AUS||Repsol Honda Team||1’33.153||–|
|2||58||Marco SIMONCELLI||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||1’33.212||0.059|
|3||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Repsol Honda Team||1’33.621||0.468|
|4||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||1’33.683||0.530|
|5||1||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||1’33.706||0.553|
|6||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1’33.804||0.651|
|7||5||Colin EDWARDS||USA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1’34.063||0.910|
|8||11||Ben SPIES||USA||Yamaha Factory Racing||1’34.206||1.053|
|9||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Ducati Team||1’34.206||1.053|
|10||69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||1’34.277||1.124|
|11||14||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Pramac Racing Team||1’34.351||1.198|
|12||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||1’34.513||1.360|
|13||7||Hiroshi AOYAMA||JPN||San Carlo Honda Gresini||1’34.612||1.459|
|14||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP||1’34.650||1.497|
|15||65||Loris CAPIROSSI||ITA||Pramac Racing Team||1’34.866||1.713|
|16||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||1’35.010||1.857|
|17||24||Toni ELIAS||SPA||LCR Honda MotoGP||1’35.433||2.280|
Source: MotoGP; Photo: Honda