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Le Mans MotoGP: Local hero Quartararo tops FP1

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Le Mans MotoGP: Local hero Quartararo tops FP1
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Petronas SRT Yamaha rookie Fabio Quartararo was quickest in the first practice session ahead of his home MotoGP race at Le Mans.

Quartararo, who had become MotoGP's youngest-ever poleman last time out at Jerez, was the only rider to dip below 1m32s in FP1, using a pair of fresh soft tyres to lead nearest rival Andrea Dovizioso by 0.127s.

Marc Marquez and Jack Miller were class of the field in the opening minutes, taking turns out front as they traded fastest laps, with a 1m32.540s from the Honda rider edging Miller by 0.011s at the conclusion of the opening run.

From there it was another 20 minutes until Marquez tucked in behind Quartararo to lower the benchmark by a tenth.

But KTM's Pol Espargaro was soon leaping up in the classification as he grabbed Miller's tow, and his final attempt behind the Aussie's Ducati took him to the top spot above Marquez.

Miller then slotted in behind Vinales and the pair took over out front with 10 minutes to go, the former heading the latter initially but then dropping out of the Yamaha man's slipstream.

Now alone on track, the Spaniard leapfrogged Miller with a 1m23.203s, before pitting at the end of the next lap despite having gone even faster in the first three sectors.

Dovizioso came within 0.006s of ousting Vinales with a minute left on the clock, only to have his laptime cancelled due to a track limits infringement.

He then jumped ahead of Vinales at the chequered flag, and kept the lap this time, but by then Quartararo had fired in a 1m31.986s.

Danilo Petrucci joined Ducati squadmate Dovizioso in the top three, demoting Vinales to fourth place.

Marquez, who along with Vinales did not run a soft rear tyre, was fifth, 0.004s up on Espargaro and 0.005s up on Miller, the latter completing a top seven split by just 0.252s.

Suzuki's Joan Mir was some four tenths slower than Miller in eighth place, with KTM's Johann Zarco and Yamaha's Valentino Rossi completing the top 10.

Mir was seven tenths up on his championship frontrunner teammate Alex Rins, who ended the session in a lowly 17th place.

Rossi, who led LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow and Quartararo's teammate Franco Morbidelli, had a mechanical failure mid-session when the chain came loose on his Yamaha and shot off across the track.

Under-pressure Honda rider Jorge Lorenzo took 14th, a tenth down on rookie Francesco Bagnaia. Lorenzo's session was compromised by an early crash at the Garage Vert double right-hander, as he fell after running wide onto the outside kerb.

Marquez made the same mistake at the same place later in the session, but used his knee to keep the bike upright and avoid a crash.

Cla # Rider Bike Laps Time Gap
1 20 France Fabio Quartararo
Yamaha 21 1'31.986
2 4 Italy Andrea Dovizioso
Ducati 18 1'32.113 0.127
3 9 Italy Danilo Petrucci
Ducati 20 1'32.193 0.207
4 12 Spain Maverick Viñales
Yamaha 21 1'32.203 0.217
5 93 Spain Marc Marquez
Honda 20 1'32.233 0.247
6 44 Spain Pol Espargaro
KTM 19 1'32.237 0.251
7 43 Australia Jack Miller
Ducati 19 1'32.238 0.252
8 36 Spain Joan Mir
Suzuki 22 1'32.626 0.640
9 5 France Johann Zarco
KTM 19 1'32.724 0.738
10 46 Italy Valentino Rossi
Yamaha 18 1'32.760 0.774
11 35 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow
Honda 20 1'32.831 0.845
12 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli
Yamaha 22 1'32.887 0.901
13 63 Italy Francesco Bagnaia
Ducati 17 1'32.982 0.996
14 99 Spain Jorge Lorenzo
Honda 18 1'33.091 1.105
15 30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami
Honda 21 1'33.123 1.137
16 41 Spain Aleix Espargaro
Aprilia 20 1'33.259 1.273
17 42 Spain Alex Rins
Suzuki 22 1'33.357 1.371
18 53 Spain Tito Rabat
Ducati 20 1'34.113 2.127
19 29 Italy Andrea Iannone
Aprilia 19 1'34.135 2.149
20 88 Portugal Miguel Oliveira
KTM 19 1'34.229 2.243
21 17 Czech Republic Karel Abraham
Ducati 18 1'34.481 2.495
22 55 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin
KTM 19 1'35.479 3.493
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About this article

Series MotoGP
Event French GP
Sub-event FP1
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy