Result and recap of the 125cc Qualifying Practice at Le Mans:
The 16-year-old KTM rider Marc Marquez took his debut pole at Le Mans this afternoon, after timing his final lap to perfection. The Spaniard crossed the line to start his final lap with just seconds to go before the checkered flag fell, and used that lap to set the fastest time of the day, staying ahead of Scott Redding who had followed him round the track. Marquez had set a series of fastest laps as the clock ticked down, and pole position a reward for a very strong performance.
Qualifying for the 125 had been a hectic and crash-strewn affair, the track drying as the session progressed, and towards the end of the session riders started gambling on taking out cut slicks and even full slicks to try to improve their times. In the end, Marquez and Redding emerged the big winners, over 6/10ths of a second ahead of third place man Nicolas Terol. Dominique Aegerter rounds out the front row.
The three men who have dominated the series so far suffered mixed fortunes, Bradley Smith qualifying on the second row of the grid, ahead of his team mate Julian Simon. While 6th and 7th are unimpressive for the Aspar team, Andrea Iannone's 23rd fastest time is a downright disaster. The championship leader crashed early on, and as 125cc riders only have one bike at their disposal, he couldn't get back out in time to improve on his qualifying time.
Marquez' KTM team mate Cameron Beaubier also had is best qualifying session so far, and will start from 11th on the grid, just behind De Graaf's Danny Webb.
The crashes early in the session left a large number of riders outside of the qualifying time, but Race Direction was lenient with many of them. Efren Vazquez, Luca Marconi, Cyril Carillo, Gregory di Carlo, Luca Vitali, Jasper Iwema, Takaaki Nakagami, Johann Zarco and Sturla Fagerhaug will all be allowed to start, having set faster times in earlier sessions. Sadly, that leaves the only female wildcard of the event, Ornella Ongaro out in the cold. And worryingly for the Haojue team, neither Michael Ranseder nor Matthew Hoyle will be permitted to start, both men having technical problems and not managing to set a fast enough time during either practice or qualifying.
The result of qualifying:
|22||52||Steven LE COQUEN||HONDA||1'53.225||6.145||0.541|
|Not qualified (Out 107%) 1'54.575|
|48||Gregory DI CARLO||HONDA||1'56.432||9.352||1.119|