Reigning world champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) took pole position in the French Grand Prix on Saturday, the fifth round of the MotoGP season, while Frenchmen Johann Zarco and Fabio Quartararo will start far from the lead.
The championship leader once again made the superiority of his Desmosedici speak, beating in extremis by 58 thousandths the Spanish comeback Marc Marquez (Honda) during his last lap, while the Italian Luca Marini (Ducati-VR46), who had to to go through the repechages (Q1), created the surprise by achieving the third fastest time.
Bagnaia will therefore start in first position on Saturday afternoon during the sprint and on Sunday during the Grand Prix and could thus take off for the world championship at the end of the weekend at Le Mans.
Australian Jack Miller (KTM) took fourth place and will start on the second row ahead of Spaniards Jorge Martin (Ducati-Pramac) and Maverick Vinales (Aprilia). The latter, in the lead after the first run, had a mechanical problem coming out of the pits and could not start again to try to improve his time.
Italian Marco Bezzecchi (Ducati-VR46) finished seventh, ahead of Spaniard Alex Marquez (Ducati-Gresini) and Zarco (Ducati-Pramac).
The Habs, never in the game on Saturday, finally set the ninth time almost six tenths behind Bagnaia, to the chagrin of the tens of thousands of French supporters present at the Bugatti circuit.
The fourth row will be occupied by the South African Brad Binder (KTM) and the Spaniards Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia), who scared himself by falling at more than 200 km/h, and Augusto Fernandez (GasGas Tech 3).
The weekend promises to be still very complicated for Quartararo. Already disappointing on Friday in qualifying with only the 12th time on the handlebars of his Yamaha, the Niçois failed in third place in the repechages and missed qualifying in Q2 by only 23 thousandths of a second in front of his dumbfounded fans.
The 2021 world champion will only start from 13th place on the grid and will have to make a very good start to hope to grab a few points during the sprint on Saturday and the Grand Prix on Sunday.