Bendsneyder through Q1 to P9 in qualifying

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Pedro Acosta has first pole position in the Moto2™ class after breaking his own, hours-old All Time Lap Record at the SHARK Grand Prix de France. Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) qualified second-fastest for Round 7 of the season at Le Mans, and will be in a KTM Ajo sandwich on the front row given Augusto Fernandez was third-quickest in Q2. World Championship leader Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team), on the other hand, could not escape Q1. Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) was the early pace-setter in the second stanza of qualifying, before a nasty-looking highside at Garage Vert (Turn 8). The Briton appeared winded, taking some time to get to his feet before riding a scooter back to the paddock, as the 1:36.071 which he set on his second flyer looked vulnerable. As it turned out, the front row lap times would all come in the 11th minute of the session. Fernandez was first to better Lowes’ marker when he set a 1:35.963, only for FP3 fast man Acosta to pip his team-mate with a 1:35.803 as he followed him across the line. Then, moments later, Dixon split the KTM Ajo duo with a 1:35.921. No one else beat Lowes’ time, however, meaning the Briton is set to start from fourth position when lights go out on Sunday afternoon. Albert Arenas (Inde GASGAS Aspar) qualified fifth on a 1:36.088 and they will be joined on Row 2 by Alonso Lopez, who has replaced Romano Fenati at MB Conveyors Speed Up, effective this weekend. Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40) took seventh, and Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) was eighth with the only flying lap which he could get in before crashing at La Chapelle (Turn 6). Rounding out the top 10 were Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) and Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team), with FP1 fast man Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) 11th after he took a tumble at Chemin aux Boeufs. The story of Q1 was Vietti’s bid to rescue a good starting position. The Italian improved on each of his last three laps in the session, but every time, it was only good enough for fifth position. The last of those efforts was a 1:36.310 which was just six thousandths of a second slower than Jorge Navarro’s best lap, meaning Vietti will launch from 19th on Sunday. Navarro (Flexbox HP40) would go on to secure 12th on the grid in Q2.

Bo Bendsneyder achieved the third fastest time in Q1 which has given him the pass to the Q2. The Dutch rider will start from the third row of the grid after qualifying ninth.

#64 Bo Bendsneyder – P9 – 1.36,341

“I am very happy with today. Yesterday, in FP1 I didn’t have a good feeling, I was struggling to find my rhythm. My team made really good changes for today and gave me a really good bike but we were unlucky in FP3 with many yellow flags. We have a very good race pace and I did my lap time alone so I am happy with the day and with the work my team has done, we are starting from the third row and I cannot wait for tomorrow! “

Results Q1 & Q2 combined:


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