Another challenging morning in Le Mans was closed by the intermediate class and its fair share of class trips outside track limits. The gravel showed no favouritism, claiming riders from all throughout the grid, including early leader Mattia Pasini. The lead had exchanged hands between the Italian, Marcel Schrotter and the two Marc VDS riders for the first half of the session.
Alex Marquez made a decisive move with 13 minutes to go and was the first rider to drop into the 1:36s. It looked like a safe space for the Spaniard until Schrotter fought back and took the lead. The Dynavolt rider watched the end of the session from the gravel trap of turn 13 but his time proved good enough to keep him at the top.
Teammate Xavi Vierge had briefly demoted the German but eventually settled for second, only three hundredths of a second behind. The Dynavolt duo and the Marc VDS riders were in a league of their own throughout the session, with Pecco Bagnaia knocking on the doors of the top four. The Italian eventually had the beating of Marquez and Joan Mir and climbed into third position, less than a tenth slower than the leader. Marquez in fourth and Mir in fifth were split by minuscule gaps as well, the Spaniards trailing Schrotter by under two tenths of a second.
Fabio Quartararo achieved a late feat to the delight of the home crowd by climbing into sixth position and becoming the final rider to drop into the 1:36s. Jorge Navarro was best of the rest, almost half a second down on the leader and very closely followed by Pasini.
Andrea Locatelli and Isaac Viñales completed the top ten, with Lorenzo Baldassarri and Sam Lowes only just missing out. Eight tenths down on the fastest man and down in 14th position finished Miguel Oliveira, who continued to struggle on French grounds.
|6||20||Fabio QUARTARARO||Speed Up||1'36.998||0.250||0.059|
|19||89||Khairul Idham PAWI||Kalex||1'37.810||1.062||0.025|
|21||64||Bo BENDSNEYDER||Tech 3||1'38.092||1.344||0.113|
|24||52||Danny KENT||Speed Up||1'38.171||1.423||0.001|
|29||14||Hector GARZO||Tech 3||1'38.755||2.007||0.200|
|35||80||Cedric TANGRE||Tech 3||1'40.936||4.188||1.087|