Vinales heads Yamaha front-row lockout at Le Mans

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Maverick Vinales claimed his second pole position of the 2017 season as Yamaha locked out the front row at the French MotoGP in Le Mans.

Vinales has slotted effortlessly into the seat left by Jorge Lorenzo at Movistar Yamaha with two wins to his name already, leaving him second in the riders' championship behind team-mate Valentino Rossi.

The 22-year-old quickly set the standard in Q2 on Saturday as he went nearly a second faster than his rivals, his progress aided by Marc Marquez's fall early on in proceedings.

Cal Crutchlow was the only other rider to occupy top spot before the chequered flag but he could only claim fourth going into Sunday's race.

Instead it was Rossi and surprise package Johann Zarco who complete the top three - the latter producing a superb display having come through Q1.

Zarco said: "It feels so good. The crowd responding made me angry and a little bit worried. It's difficult to find a good pace here. In FP4 I did a reset and took it easy. I was fast and constant, a good reference. Q1 was almost the best qualifying. Now the first row is just fantastic. [Our] strategy with just one tyre was not planned. I just got faster and faster."

Marquez put his incident behind him but had to settle for fifth place as he looks to repeat his victory in 2014.

Further down the top 10 there was an impressive ride from Jack Miller, particularly because the Australian suffered a huge crash earlier on Saturday.

Somehow Miller walked away from the wreck of his Marc VDS bike and was able to put a lap together to claim 11th.

It was not such a good day for five-time winner Jorge Lorenzo, though, as he failed to make it out of Q1 - along with the winner last time out in Spain, Dani Pedrosa.

 

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha) 1:31.994s
2. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) 1:32.100s
3. Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha) 1:32.229s
4. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) 1:32.300s
5. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 1:32.493s
6. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1:32.726s
7. Scott Redding (OCTO Pramac Racing) 1:33.119s
8. Pol Espargaro (KTM) 1:33.399s
9. Karel Abraham (Aspar) 1:33.517s
10. Bradley Smith (KTM) 1:33.629s