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Lorenzo on pole for French MotoGP

Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo grabbed pole position in le Mans on Saturday. JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP

Yamaha rider and defending champion Jorge Lorenzo stormed to pole position of the French MotoGP in Le Mans on Saturday. Lorenzo outpaced his compatriot and Honda rider Marc Marquez by 0.45 seconds to claim a record breaking 63rd pole of his career.

Lorenzo also set a record for the fastest pole position lap on the Le Mans circuit.

Ducati’s Andre Iannone finished third ahead of Pol Espargaro and Andrea Dovizioso. Bradley Smith starts in fifth place, his best qualifying result of the season.

Nine-time champion Valentino Rossi had a disappointing outing as he finished in seventh place. This is Rossi’s first time starting on the third row since Australia 2015.

The stage is now set for a thrilling race on Sunday as Marquez and Lorenzo are battling it out for the lead in the world championship standings.

Marquez has won two of the four races and finished third in the other two. Lorenzo started the season with a win in Qatar. Though he didn’t score any points in Argentina, he came back in the next two races finishing second in the American and Spanish Grand Prix races.

Honda’s other rider Dani Pedrosa too had a difficult day as he will start the race in only 11th place. Pedrosa had a promising beginning to the weekend after topping the first practice session.

Maverick Vinales, Cal Crutchlow and Danilo Petrucci are the other top 10 starters.