So it was this morning, on a dry track (but it was sixteen degrees!) During the FP3 session, that the unhappy drivers the day before had to regain a place in the top ten to go straight to Q2 from pole. Needless to say (it's silly since I do it) that everyone rode in double soft …
Quartararo had the best time and came out with the first position in the combined, well done man, he did the job beautifully.
Zarco also improved, he was ten last night (quick lap canceled) sixth time this morning, one word the Frenchies hats off! Rossi also came back (quick lap canceled) he was twelve and seven, Vinales fell from second to ninth position but he is top ten. Ditto for Dovizioso.
Miller is four despite an impressive high side!
So the top ten: Quartararo, Oliveira (also back from hell), Morbidelli, Miller, Crutchlow, Zarco, Rossi, Vinales, Pol Espargaro, Dovizioso.
The happiness of some causing the misfortune of others, Binder, Rins Mir, Bagnaia, Petrucci, Alex Marquez, Nakagami will have to go through a Q1 which will be a GP in itself given the high level of the drivers who will have to ride it …
12:35 pm: It's qualifying time.
Moto3, Masia's pole (Honda)
We always start with the Q1 catch-up session, four drivers will join the fourteen already qualified for Q2.
There are good people in this session, Foggia, Argentinian Rodrigo, Antonelli and especially Salac, who was better the day before! He nabbed a penalty which blocked him during the last fifteen minutes of FP3, thank you marshalls, one day, they already did against Rossi in 2015, they will decide who is world champion!
In the last turn when they both qualified in Q2, n Antonelli and Rodrigo got hung up! And Antonelli jumps because the Japanese Koba has the best time! Raaaaah!
So go to Q2 Toba, Foggia, Yamanaka, Rodrigo who is barely saved!
We attack Q2, the real pole. The great light blue in the morning is becoming cloudy but the weather forecast has not announced rain. The trail is a little warmer than the day before, but hardly.
We find Fernandez, who had the best time in FP3 in the morning, and practically all the big caliber of the displacement. I just remember that the general of the 2020 World Cup in this capacity is led by the Japanese Ogura, three points ahead of Arenas and 24 points ahead of McPhee…
Toba, just rescued fall, bad plan …
Fernandez, Binder and Sasaki shoot first.
McPhee isn't as comfortable in the dry as he was in the wet the day before, besides with a bunch of drivers, his laps were canceled because they doubled under the yellow flag, bad day! The marshalls are going crazy, in the fifth lap, there are only seven classified drivers!
Ogura, the world leader, crashed, motorcycle destroyed, very bad plan!
Arenas, second overall in the world, takes the best time, a superb operation in sight.
But it was Masia who took pole and the circuit record, 20 thousandths ahead of Arenas. This is his first pole for this driver in this displacement. McPhee is three, yes, even if the starting grid does not mean much in Moto3, Arenas and Mc Phee have a very big shot to play.
MotoGP FP4: Quartararo
The track has climbed to 22 degrees, FP 4 is the most interesting session, if not the most famous, because it is a real free session, all the others count for the qualification, so we ride there, at least on the three quarters, in GP mode and sometimes trying to do long runs, 11 to 15 laps to see the holding of the tires. Double soft for everyone of course. Rins and Rossi attack very hard. Zarco is three but we are at the start of the session.
Rossi best time ahead of Quartararo! They are going to redo the blow of Barcelona, hoping that this time Rossi stays on his wheels? Miller is there despite his terrible fall in the morning.
Quartararo is better time then improves, I realize that his gestures often resemble that of Marquez… Which is promising for Marc's return!
Oliveira has a superb race pace, fastest time, then it's Miller, there are 60 thousandths between the first three, that also looks promising for tomorrow! Quartararo takes the lead, big fight in fact …
Zarco is eight, which is his best performance possible with this one year old bike, even improved, if there are no glitches in front of him.
Red Flag, Oliveira has had a huge oil leak, lots of it. Miller almost got there before the red flag, which took a little while to be raised, a commissioner can't do it without a blanket order. He gestures to the following with his hand that the corner is a trap… Quartararo signaled that the red flag should be waved for several seconds! Error in the race dirlo, or bad transmission …
There are 17 minutes left in the session. It's fucked up for long runs …
Piero Taramasso, the Michelin bos, says that the day before, some drivers managed to hold sixteen laps in double soft and therefore it will be the lot of everyone during the GP, the temperature on Sunday will in principle be three degrees colder than this Saturday.
We start again, in order at this point, Quartararo, Miller, Oliveira, Zarco are eight. Oliveira gets down to business! Not his day … And this is his second bike! Rins is entitled to it too, we are a little nervous boys …
Morbidelli has a better time, 51 thousandths ahead of Quartararo, we have seen that since Morbidelli's very unpleasant statements on Thursday, the atmosphere between the two teammates has deteriorated significantly! Vinales rode two, there are three Yamaha with the best three times! And Rossi climbs fourth, at Yamaha it is ecstatic! Last lap Quartararo takes the fastest time, 5 thousandths ahead of Morbidelli (na!) 35 thousandths ahead of Vinales, 1denth three ahead of Rossi. Pol Espargaro is five, Petrucci is the first Ducati rider with the sixth fastest time. Zarco tried other tricks in the second part, he finished seventeen but that time is meaningless.
The pole, it's going to hit!
MotoGP the ninth pole of Quartararo
The weather turned downright cloudy and the track climbed to 24 degrees. We start with Q1, where I said there were a lot of very good people! Petrucci, Lecuona, Nakagami, Binder, Mir, Rins!
Petrucci and Rins shoot first, but for the whole quarter hour it will be a street fight. Then Mir is in front, we know he absolutely has to qualify among the first to have a chance to finish in front …
But Alex Marquez takes the best time ahead of Bagnaia, everyone is wild! Then it's a Bagnaia / Petrucci duo, we will have seen a lot of people at the top of the timesheet!
Change of tires, all of Michelin's stocks will go through! Well, they have 1500 in total, all options included, that will do it …
Mir rides two, will he be able to ride in Q2? This is essential. But Bagnaia takes his place while Nakagami goes to the heap.
Petrucci and Bagnaia will therefore be in Q2, Mir will start from fourteenth place on the grid, he will still have to bring up a large group of drivers to join the lead!
And then it's pole. Finally.
The track climbed to 26 degrees. I'm still flabbergasted by Miller, a sort of bunkerized colossus, after flying three meters above his motorcycle in the morning, he has an Olympic form.
First round of fire, Quartararo, Bagnaia, Morbidelli, Vinales. Rossi is five. Zarco 10, can do better. Quartararo is the last to return to the pits, and again on express call, for the second set of tires. He wants the boy!
Dovizioso climbed two behind Quartararo, 82 thousandths behind.
Last minute, Miller takes the lead, Quartararo reacts immediately, two tenths ahead of Miller!
Miller two, Petrucci three, Crutchlow four, Vinales five. Zarco is new, not bad.
Quartararo pole, remains to win the GP of France, which was done in 500 in Reims by Pierre Monneret in 1954, it was starting to date!
Moto2 pole: Joe Roberts' first pole
Poor Moto2, who pass after the formidable pole of Quartararo at the GP of France! In general, the public starts to go and do something else at this time but this Saturday no public, it will be admitted only tomorrow Sunday for the GP. We start with Q1, again with very good people including Bastianini, second overall in the world!
Bastianini who obviously had the best time, qualified in Q2 with Luthi, Canet and Di Giannantonio. Luthi damaged his bike in a small crash, but pole is coming and in Moto2 the riders only have one bike! As for Giannantonio, he walks on his crutches when he leaves the saddle of his motorcycle. They want guys… I've been following motorsports for over thirty years and they still amaze me.
Pole, 15 minutes, Marini is there despite his appalling high side the day before at the Dunlop curve.
Between him and Miller, two miracles in the weekend plus a dream, the Quartararo pole, we are delighted!
Jorge Martin has his teeth, he was two in the overall standings when the Covid deprived him of two GPs, he leads the start of this pole. Ducati has seen his qualities, he will be at Pramac next year with Zarco but he wants to finish better than fifth overall, his current position. But he goes to the pile (Second time of the weekend). Navarro follows him around the same bend. Loss of the front no sore.
Martin's time remains at the top of the table, ahead of Lowes and Di Giannantonio.
And then that's the crazy thing, Marini, who I repeat had an incredible flight the day before, is on provisional pole a few minutes from the end but that's when it all breaks out. Roberts is pole and beats the absolute track record in Moto2! In front of Lowes and Gardner, Martin will be leaving four, that's a consolation. Marini is six, Bastianini nine, between the two we may be witnessing a fight!
Tomorrow no rain, nice GP in perspective …