MotoGP: Francesco Bagnaia secures back-to-back pole positions

Francesco Bagnaia will start from pole for the second race in succession after he shattered the lap record at Le Mans to snatch pole position for Sunday's French MotoGP.

Francesco Bagnaia secured another pole position ahead of the French MotoGP on Sunday with a scalding hot lap.

Bagnaia set a new track record in the process and his 1:30.450 is the fastest two-wheeled lap recorded at Le Mans.

The Ducati Lenovo Team enjoyed a terrific Saturday, as Jack Miller joins his teammate on the front row, while Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro ensured that his championship rival Fabio Quartararo was relegated to the second row.

MotoGP world champion under pressure

Quartararo has just a seven point cushion heading into his home Grand Prix.

Enea Bastianini heads into the race at Le Mans looking to close a 20 point gap to Quartararo at the top.

The other great home hope is Johann Zarco who would have started sixth but for a three-place grid penalty for 'riding slowly on the racing line and disturbing' Pol Espargaro.

After free pratice flops Pramac Racing's Jorge Martin and 2020 World Champion Joan Mir of Suzuki Ecstar fought their way into the battle for pole in a chaotic first qualifying session.

When the second session got underway it was Bagnaia and Quartararo who made the early play.

As the session wore on though, more contenders would step up and while Bagnaia raised his game Quartararo wasn't able to find time late in the Qualifying 2.

Johann Zarco slapped with penalty

Zarco briefly put himself on the front row, while Enea Bastianini on the satellite Ducati dipped under Bagnaia's provisional pole marker in the first three sectors. However, his effort fell just short and he replaced Zarco in P3.

With the session clock ticking down, Bagnaia upped his game.

The Italian posted a seriously rapid lap to break the All-Time Record at Le Mans and managed to tow teammate Miller into the top two to boot top make it a dream session for the factory Ducati team.

Soon after Aleix Espargaro put his Aprilla on the front row with a blistering effort, and the focus shifted to Quartararo.

With intense pressure on the Yamaha rider he managed two clean sectors to start his final time attack, but lost time in the third before completely going off the boil in the fourth, forcing him to settle for a P4 start.

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