The Spaniard was quickest on Friday ahead of Bagnaia and Acosta as Marquez and Bastianini are forced to go through Q1.

It was an intense shootout for direct entry into Q2 on Saturday at the Michelin® Grand Prix de France with the spots in the top 10 going down to the wire. At the end of Friday, it was tight at the top too, with just 0.187s separating the top three. Thanks to a new lap record, however, Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) reigns supreme on Friday ahead of 2023 duelling partner Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), with rookie Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) making a statement in third.

For Martin it was a building session, with the #89 consistently running inside the top 10 before a fast lap with 10 minutes to go before improving to set a remarkable 1:30.388 on the Pramac rider’s final run. Bagnaia tried to fight back late, after briefly occupying the top spot with 20 minutes to go. However, Martin’s final sector was too good to match, leaving the reigning World Champion in second with Acosta finding time in the last 10 minutes of the the day to jump to third on the #31’s first time at Le Mans on a MotoGP™ bike.

In fourth after another cracking day was Aprilia Racing’s Maverick Viñales, who was a mere 0.269s from the top spot at the end of the opening day of action at the French GP. The Americas GP winner was ahead of Fabio Di Giannantonio (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing) in sixth who had a positive Friday after putting a fresh soft rear tyre in his final run.

Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was sixth after a strong finish to the day – setting a 1:30.699. However, it was not smooth sailing for Miller after saving a crash after running through the gravel at turn two. However at the other side of the box, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) had a tough day crashing for the third time on Friday, ending the day outside of the Q2 spots.

Aleix Espargaro ended a strong day for the Aprilia Racing squad, finishing the day in seventh, after briefly claiming the top spot. Behind Espargaro in eighth position after a great day was Prima Pramac Racing’s Franco Morbidelli who earned direct entry into Q2 onnce again after finding late time late in the session.

2023 winner Marco Bezzecchi (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing) was ninth clinching a Q2 spot and just 0.397 away from the top spot in the highly competitive field. And to the delight of the French crowd, home hero Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) took the final spot inside the top 10 and by 0.010s, leaving some huge names to battle in Q1.

Most notably Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) is now forced to go through Q1 on Saturday after ending the day in 13th. The #93 had a crash in the opening stage of the session, remounting, and then began to push in the last 10 minutes but he was unable to piece together a lap good enough for the top 10. Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) will join him in Q1 tomorrow, after spending most of Practice outside the top 10 and crossing the line to end the day in 19th.

Binder and Alex Rins (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) will also prepare for a Q1 appearance on Saturday, hoping to join their teammates in Q2. Further down the order, the French crowd will also be cheering on Johann Zarco (CASTROL Honda LCR), who was 20th with work to do to improve.

The MotoGP™ field will return to action at 10:10 local time (UTC +2) on Saturday for Free Practice 2 before it is time for qualifying at 10:50 local time, so make sure you don’t miss a second of the action on!

Top 10:

2Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team)+0.145
3Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3)+0.187
4Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing)+0.269
5Fabio Di Giannantonio (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing)+0.295
6Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)+0.311
7Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing)+0.326
8Franco Morbidelli (Prima Pramac Racing)+0.375
9Marco Bezzecchi (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team)+0.397
10Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™)+0.400


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