Salem Radio Network News Tuesday, May 17, 2022


Motorcycling-Bagnaia on pole as Ducati dominate French Grand Prix qualifying

LE MANS, France (Reuters) -Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia claimed pole position for the French Grand Prix after he finished on top in Saturday’s qualifying session, while world champion Fabio Quartararo of Yamaha could only manage fourth place on the grid in front of his home fans.

The Italian was fastest at Le Mans, posting a new lap record of 1 minute 30.450 seconds, 0.069 seconds ahead of team mate Jack Miller as Ducati dominated the last qualifying session.

It was a second straight pole position for Bagnaia, who also earned the top spot in qualifying for the Spanish GP in Jerez before bagging his first victory of the season there.

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro will start third for Sunday’s race after finishing 0.159 seconds behind Miller.

Home favourite Quartararo got fans excited when he set the pace in FP4, but the Frenchman could not keep up with the drivers ahead of him in Q2 and had to settle for the second row on the grid.

Gresini Racing’s Enea Bastianini completed the top five, having made several pushes for pole, while the other local favourite Johann Zarco finished sixth on his Pramac Ducati.

Six-times MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda was left frustrated after he made a mistake on his final lap and could only finish 10th.

On the eve of the French GP, former world champions Suzuki said they intend to leave MotoGP at the end of this year and are in talks with promoters Dorna about the possibility of doing so.

Suzuki’s Joan Mir and Alex Rins came eighth and ninth respectively.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)


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