Reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez secured his 55th pole position of 2019, shaking off a crash in an eventful, wet qualifying session, putting him tied second with Valentino Rossi in MotoGP pole positions.
With light but steady rain falling throughout the session, it was Marquez’ first flying lap of the session which was fast enough for him to take the pole position. Marquez’ time, a 1:40.952 was nine seconds off the dry running times from free practice, but was enough for him to secure the pole by 0.360 seconds.
However, it wasn’t plain sailing for Marquez the following lap after his fastest time of the session, the Spaniard lost the front end of his RC213V going down into La Chapel, the downhill right hander, despite pushing his knee into the French tarmac, not even Marc Marquez could save this crash.
No damage was down for Marquez though, able to restart and resume his qualifying session, the Repsol Honda man continued on the same bike, with nobody touching his time from earlier in the session.
Marquez will be joined on the front row by the Ducati duo of Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller, although like Marquez, both set their fastest lap on their first flying lap of the session. Miller, like Marquez also suffered a fall late in the session. The Aussie was able to remount but was visibly frustrated at his third crash of the weekend.
Andrea Dovizioso will head the second row and was the third of three Ducati’s in Q2 with Valentino Rossi in fifth position. ‘The Doctor’ gambled in Q1 by being the first rider out on slick tyres, building up to his fastest lap, the factory Yamaha mans gamble saw him directly into Q2. Trying the same strategy in Q2 – along with factory Yamaha team-mate Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo, it wasn’t to be, with all three pitting after just one lap on the slicks. Fellow Q1 fast man Franco Morbidelli rounded out an all Italian second row.
Taka Nakagami will start from seventh place, despite a crash on his own, with Jorge Lorenzo and Aleix Espargaro joining the Japanese rider on the third row of the grid.
Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Vinales will both be ruining their decision to gamble on slick tyres and will start from tenth and eleventh respectively with the KTM of Pol Espargaro joining them on the fourth row, after failing to set a time, crashing out at Turn Six.