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Luthi continues Le Mans love affair with pole

Luthi continues Le Mans love affair with pole

A new lap record for Luthi as he takes his first pole of 2016 ahead of Rins and Corsi.

Almost as soon as the Qualifying session began yet another Moto2™ World Championship pole record was gone, Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) setting the standard early on.

Jonas Folger (Dynavolt Intact GP) suffered his third fall of the weekend, coming off at Turn 7 just as the session began. A hard working team had him eventually back out on track, but it was a session spent playing catch up for the German.

Luthi’s 1’36.847 would stand as the fastest time of the day as the Swiss rider took his fourth pole in the Moto2™ class, his first since the Malaysian GP in 2015. Le Mans is a track where Luthi always goes well, with several title rivals starting down the grid this is a prime opportunity for the intermediate class veteran.

Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) was the only other rider in the 1’36s, his time coming late in the session. The Monster Energy Grand Prix de France sees Rins take his third front row start of the season, his pole in Austin leading to victory on race day.

Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Team) had been set to start on the front row but was imposed a late penalty for a technical infringement and demoted down to seventh, it would have been Baldassarri’s first front row in the Moto2™ class.

Thanks to the penalty, Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) will line up third on the grid ahead of Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) who suffered a fall late in the session at Turn 4. Zarco was just one of the many championship contenders who had a difficult Saturday.

Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS), Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Team), Jonas Folger (Dynavolt Intact GP), Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) and Luca Marini (Forward Team) completed the top ten with half a second splitting them. Lowes has not been as strong in Le Mans as he was in Jerez, race day potentially one of damage limitation.

Xavier Simeon (QMMF Racing Team) crashed at Turn 9 with Ratthapark Wilairot (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) coming off not long after at Turn 8. Both riders were unharmed but their sessions suffered a serious road bump.

Turn 7 also saw a fall from Xavi Vierge (Tech 3), his bike cartwheeling through the gravel as he escaped harm. He had a second crash in the final minutes of the session, this time at Turn 9.

Miguel Oliveira (Leopard Racing) took a tumble at Turn 11 late in the session.

Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) did not take part in the session after withdrawing from the French GP due to a knee injury.

The intermediate class will be back on track at 09:10 Local Time before their race at 12:20 Local Time.

Times and grid positions from the Moto2™ Qualifying session can be viewed here.

Tags:
Moto2, 2016, MONSTER ENERGY GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, QP, Thomas Luthi, Lorenzo Baldassarri, Alex Rins, Forward Team, Paginas Amarillas HP 40, Garage Plus Interwetten, Report

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