Marc Marquez has admitted that it was difficult to keep up with Movistar Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo in qualifying at Le Mans on Saturday.
Lorenzo broke the circuit record when he recorded a 1:31.975 and subsequently clinched pole ahead of Sunday’s race.
Marquez meanwhile came second, but was pleased to be starting in the front row for the 16th consecutive time.
“I was able to set a good lap today, but it wasn’t perfect. At first, with the new tyre, I found it hard to get the same feeling I had with used tyres and the bike moved about a lot when I tried to push more,” Marquez told reporters. “At the end, I changed my riding style a little and set two pretty good laps that helped me to fulfil my main objective, which was to get on the front row. I think the pace that I have isn’t bad, and in the last free practice, I felt comfortable, although I’m still not quite as fast as Jorge [Lorenzo].”
Despite being outpaced by the reigning MotoGP champion in qualifying, Marquez holds a 17-point advantage in the standings and will be looking to extend that lead on Sunday.
“We know that at this circuit we would struggle and we are struggling a lot,” the Spaniard said. “Tomorrow will be a tough race, because there are many riders on the similar pace – both Ducatis, Valentino [Rossi]… We will see. We will try to do our best and get a good start and let’s see if Lorenzo doesn’t feel like today and we can follow him for some laps.”