Back-to-back pole positions for Ducati’s Bagnaia

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As home hero Fabio Quartararo missed the front row, Francesco Bagnaia led a Ducati 1-2 to claim pole for the MotoGP French Grand Prix.

Bagnaia and Quartararo were locked in a pole duel in the early parts of Q2, but the former would pull away from the Yamaha rider to win back-to-back poles in 2022.

Bagnaia of Ducati set the initial benchmark at 1m30.910s, 0.300 seconds ahead of Quartararo, before the Italian improved to 1m30.699s.

However, with little under 10 minutes remaining in the 15-minute shootout, Quartararo would produce a 1m30.688s to edge Bagnaia by 0.011s.

Both riders would light up the timing displays on their second runs, but Bagnaia reclaimed the lead with a time of 1m30.450s with two minutes remaining.

Teammate Jack Miller followed him up to second place, 0.069s ahead of the Australian.

Quartararo was swift as he began his final circuit, but he lost time during the rest of the tour and was unable to surpass his previous mark of 1m30.688s.

Enea Bastianini of Gresini Ducati completed the top five after multiple attempts at pole, with Johann Zarco of Pramac Ducati in sixth place.

After coming in the way of Pol Espargaro at the Dunlop chicane while the Honda rider was on a late-race push lap, the Frenchman might be taken up to the stewards after Q2.

Pecco Bagnaia, Ducati Corse

Joan Mir qualified ahead of Suzuki teammate Alex Rins in seventh, with Pramac Ducati’s Q1 pacesetter Jorge Martin ninth.

Marc Marquez made a mistake on his penultimate lap entering the Dunlop chicane and finished 10th, 0.698s off the pace, trailed by Honda teammate Pol Espargaro and LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami.

Miguel Oliveira led the RC16s in 17th place, ahead of teammate Brad Binder, with Remy Gardner and the injured Raul Fernandez in 22nd and last place, respectively.

Franco Morbidelli of Yamaha finished 19th after feeling like he’d made progress in understanding the factory M1 on Friday at Le Mans, with Andrea Dovizioso of RNF Racing following him in 20th.

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