Record breaking Bagnaia unbeatable in qualifying

The Championship leader set a new lap record, with Vierge and Baldassarri his closest challengers

Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46) will start tomorrow’s HJC Helmets Grand Prix de France from pole for the first time in his Moto2™ career, setting a new circuit lap record along the way. Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP), who crashed on his final run, will start second on the grid, 0.202 behind, with Jerez winner Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40) earning his fourth front row start of the year in P3.

Second place man Vierge was the early pace setter in the session, setting a new lap record after just five minutes. Bagnaia though was right on his tail, and sure enough, the Italian moved the goal posts to set 1:36.188 on the following lap – neither of the top two would go on to improve their times.

Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Estrella Galicia) secured P4 on his final run, the rookie interchanged positions with teammate Alex Marquez at the end of the session - the latter will start from sixth. Marcel Schroetter (Dynavolt Intact GP) continued his fantastic weekend, he jumped up to fifth position towards the end, splitting the Marc VDS riders before crashing - rider ok.

Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors) was twice a faller in qualifying, but the Brit still managed to spearhead the third row, 0.108 behind Marquez. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was a further 0.136 back from Lowes in eighth, with the South African finding some speed in qualifying after a quiet weekend. He’ll start just ahead of Simone Corsi (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2), who starts ninth – his best qualifying result of the season.

Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was almost seven tenths back of Bagnaia in P10, while Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) suffered another crash early in the session – he starts P11. Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (MB Conveyors – Speed Up), despite an early crash, lines up 14th on home soil.

It was another crash-fest session for the intermediate class. Forward Racing Team riders Stefano Manzi – who crashed twice at Turn 7 – and Eric Granado both fell. Meanwhile, Niki Tuuli (SIC Racing Team) crashed at the final corner in his first ever Moto2™ qualifying session, with wildcard Cedric Tangre (Yohan Moto Sport), Xavi Cardelus (Team Stylobike) and Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) also falling – riders ok.

The World Championship leader looks to have the pace, but with the times looking so close throughout the weekend, there should be a number of challengers for the win. Tune in for the Moto2™ race at 12:20 local time (GMT +2).

Click here for the full results!