Vinales grabs pole, Zarco claims third

Maverick Vinales claimed pole position for Sunday's French MotoGP while rookie Johann Zarco was third fastest at Le Mans.

Vinales stopped the clock at 1:31.991s, while his Movistar Yamaha teammate and rider's championship leader Valentino Rossi was second fastest, 0.106s behind. 

"In the first qualifying I tried but I went wide on my good lap," said Vinales.

"But I said I could do a 1m 31s. The bike was really good and we chose the right tyres. We took profit of it."

But the story of the afternoon was undoubtedly a superb lap from Frenchman Zarco, who earned his first front row grid spot of his career with a flying lap of 1:32.229s.

"It feels so good," said the hometown hero. 

"The crowd responding made me angry and a little bit worried. It's difficult to find a good pace here. In FP4 I did a reset and took it easy. I was fast and constant, a good reference. Q1 was almost the best qualifying. Now the first row is just fantastic. Strategy with just 1 tyre was not planned. I just got faster and faster."

Cal Crutchlow completes the front row on his LCR honda while defending MotoGP champion Marc Marquez will start from fifth place at Le Mans on Sunday.

Qualifying 2:
1. Maverick Viñales    ESP    Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1)    1m31.994s 
2. Valentino Rossi    ITA    Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1)    1m32.100s     0.106s    
3.Johann Zarco    FRA    Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)*    1m32.229s     0.235s    
4. Cal Crutchlow    GBR    LCR Honda (RC213V)    1m32.300s     0.306s    
5. Marc Marquez    ESP    Repsol Honda Team (RC213V)    1m32.493s     0.499s    
6. Andrea Dovizioso    ITA    Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP17)    1m    32.726s     0.732s
7. Scott Redding    GBR    Octo Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP16)    1m33.119s     1.125s     
8. Pol Espargaro    ESP    Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (RC16)    1m33.399s     1.405s    
9. Karel Abraham    CZE    Pull&Bear Aspar Team (Desmosedici GP15)    1m33.517s     1.523s    
10. Bradley Smith    GBR    Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (RC16)    1m33.629s     1.635s    
11. Jack Miller    AUS    Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V)    1m33.756s     1.762s    
12. Loris Baz    FRA    Reale Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP15)    1m    33.955s     1.961s    

Qualifying 1:    
13. Dani Pedrosa    ESP    Repsol Honda Team (RC213V)    1m32.415s    
14. Alvaro Bautista    ESP    Pull&Bear Aspar Team (Desmosedici GP16)    1m32.484s    
15. Jonas Folger    GER    Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)*    1m32.695s    
16. Jorge Lorenzo    ESP    Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP17)    1m32.830s    
17. Andrea Iannone    ITA    Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)    1m32.844s    
18. Aleix Espargaro    ESP    Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP)    1m33.187s    
19. Danilo Petrucci    ITA    Octo Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP17)    1m33.231s    
20. Hector Barbera    ESP    Reale Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP16)    1m33.233s    
21. Sam Lowes    GBR    Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP)*    1m33.817s    
22. Tito Rabat    ESP    Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V)    1m33.875s    
23. Sylvain Guintoli    FRA    Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)    1m34.082s