MotoGP: Martin Quickest With New Lap Record At Le Mans

MotoGP: Martin Quickest With New Lap Record At Le Mans

© 2024, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

Jorge Martin finished a flawless Friday on the Bugatti Circuit, in Le Mans, France, by topping MotoGP World Championship Practice One. After leading Friday morning’s Free Practice, Martin topped Friday afternoon’s Practice One with a time of 1:30.388 on his Michelin-shod Prima Pramac Racing Ducati. Not only was that lap time good enough to lead the field of 22 riders, it also set a new All-Time Lap Record, eclipsing the 1:30.450 Francesco Bagnaia did in 2022.

Bagnaia, the two-time and defending MotoGP World Champion, was second Friday afternoon with a 1:30.533 on his Lenovo Ducati.

Rookie Pedro Acosta, the reigning Moto2 World Champion, continued his impressive form with a third-quickest 1:30.575 on his Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 machine.

Likewise, Maverick Vinales was fast again with a 1:30.657 on his factory Aprilia RS-GP, slotting him into fourth. 

Other riders finishing the session in the top 10 and advancing directly to Qualifying Two included: Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Ducati’s Fabio Di Giannantonio (1:30.683), Red Bull KTM’s Jack Miller (1:30.699), Vinales’ teammate Aleix Espargaro (1:30.714), Martin’s teammate Franco Morbidelli (1:30.763), Di Giannantonio’s teammate Marco Bezzecchi (1:30.785), and Monster Energy Yamaha’s home hero Fabio Quartararo  (1:30.788).

The best times of the top 17 riders in the session were separated by less than one second.

 

MotoGP PR

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Martin outpaces Pecco with new lap record as Marquez faces Q1

The stage is set for another super Saturday with key names split across Q1 and Q2 – and a home hero through

 

Jorge Martin (89). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Jorge Martin (89). Photo courtesy Dorna.

Friday, 10 May 2024

It was an intense shootout for direct entry into Q2 at the Michelin® Grand Prix de France, with the spots in the top 10 going down to the wire. At the end of Friday it was tight at the top too, with just 0.187s separating the top three. Thanks to a new lap record, however, Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) reigns supreme ahead of 2023 duelling partner Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), with rookie Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) making a statement in third and on team home turf.

For Martin it was a building session, with the #89 consistently running inside the top 10 before a fast lap with 10 minutes to go before improving to set a remarkable 1:30.388 on the Pramac rider’s final run. Bagnaia tried to fight back late, after briefly occupying the top spot with 20 minutes to go. However, Martin’s final sector was too good to match, leaving the reigning World Champion in second with Acosta finding time in the last 10 minutes of the the day to jump to third on the #31’s first time at Le Mans on a MotoGP™ bike.

 

Francesco Bagnaia (1). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Francesco Bagnaia (1). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

In fourth after another cracking day was Aprilia Racing’s Maverick Viñales, who was a mere 0.269s from the top spot at the end of the opening day of action at the French GP. The Americas GP winner was ahead of Fabio Di Giannantonio (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing) in sixth who had a positive Friday after putting a fresh soft rear tyre in his final run.

Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was sixth after a strong finish to the day – setting a 1:30.699. However, it was not smooth sailing for Miller after saving a crash after running through the gravel at turn two. However at the other side of the box, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) had a tough day crashing for the third time on Friday, ending the day outside of the Q2 spots.

 

Pedro Acosta (31). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Pedro Acosta (31). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Aleix Espargaro ended a strong day for the Aprilia Racing squad, finishing the day in seventh, after briefly claiming the top spot. Behind Espargaro in eighth position after a great day was Prima Pramac Racing’s Franco Morbidelli who earned direct entry into Q2 onnce again after finding late time late in the session.

2023 winner Marco Bezzecchi (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing) was ninth clinching a Q2 spot and just 0.397 away from the top spot in the highly competitive field. And to the delight of the French crowd, home hero Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) took the final spot inside the top 10 and by 0.010s, leaving some huge names to battle in Q1.

 

Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Most notably Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) is now forced to go through Q1 on Saturday after ending the day in 13th. The #93 had a crash in the opening stage of the session, remounting, and then began to push in the last 10 minutes but he was unable to piece together a lap good enough for the top 10. Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) will join him in Q1 tomorrow, after spending most of Practice outside the top 10 and crossing the line to end the day in 19th.

Binder and Alex Rins (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) will also prepare for a Q1 appearance on Saturday, hoping to join their teammates in Q2. Further down the order, the French crowd will also be cheering on Johann Zarco (CASTROL Honda LCR), who was 20th with work to do to improve.

FP2: 10:10 (UTC +2)

Q1: 10:50

Q2: 11.15

Tissot Sprint: 15:00

 

Sergio Garcia (3). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Sergio Garcia (3). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 
Garcia grabs top honours from Lopez on Friday

It was an exciting Friday afternoon in Moto2™ with many key contenders beginning to show their cards at the Michelin® Grand Prix de France. It continues to be one of the most unpredictable Moto2™ seasons yet, but Sergio Garcia (MT Helmets – MSI) hit back to end Friday on top, claiming a new lap record at Le Mans with a 1:35.473 in the last five minutes of the session. Alonso Lopez (Folladore SpeedUp) was second despite losing the front at the end of the session while on a fast lap, rider ok, and third went the way of his teammate Fermin Aldeguer, who found time on a last fast lap to rocket up the order.

Manuel Gonzalez (QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2™) was fourth as he looks to fight for a maiden win this weekend, with Championship leader Joe Roberts (OnlyFans American Racing) completing the top five.

Check out the full results below and come back for more at 9:25 local time (UTC+2) for Practice 2 before qualifying at 13:45 local time.

 

David Alonso (80). Photo courtesy Dorna.
David Alonso (80). Photo courtesy Dorna.

Alonso obliterates the lap record to pull half a second on Esteban, Holgado

It was a quick afternoon for the Moto3™ field at the Michelin® Grand Prix de France with CFMOTO Gaviota Aspar Team’s David Alonso continuing to mark his ground in Le Mans. The Colombian smashed the lap record for the second time on Friday, setting a remarkable 1:40.470. The #80 was ahead of teammate Joel Esteban (CFMOTO Gaviota Aspar Team), who was the only other rider inside the 1:40 bracket – but 0.480s adrift from Alonso. In third place after briefly snatching the top spot with 10 minutes remaining was Daniel Holgado (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) – continuing to look like a race contender.

It was a dramatic session throughout with riders pushing to the absolute limit as the top spot changed hands multiple times between Alonso, Esteban, and Holgado. There were also a number of crashers, riders ok.

Meanwhile, returning to racing this weekend was Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo), ending Friday in fourth but a mere 0.014s faster than Jerez winner Collin Veijer (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP), who rounded out the top five despite suffering a crash in the closing stages of the session at turn 13.

Can Alonso convert his pace and bounce back from Spanish GP disappointment? The first mission is to head through to Q2 via P2 at 8:40 (UTC+ 2), before qualifying from 12:50… so come back for more on Saturday!

Latest Posts

Suzuki Announces First Wave Of 2025 Models

Brea, CA – June 12, 2024 -  Suzuki announced...

MotoAmerica: How To Watch All The Action From Brainerd

MotoAmerica: How To Watch MotoAmerica Superbikes at Brainerd  It's All...

Mission Foods CEO Gonzalez Named Grand Marshal Of Firestone GP Of Monterey

Mission Foods’ CEO Juan Gonzalez Brings Passion as Grand...

MotoAmerica: Unpredictable Superbike Championship Heads To Brainerd

2024 MotoAmerica Steel Commander Superbike Season Is Anything But...

N2/WERA Endurance: Alpha Omega Rollers Wins At CMP

Alpha Omega Rollers Wins a N2/WERA National Endurance Race...