MotoGP: Spaniard Marc Marquez claims pole position at Le Mans
Last Updated: 17/05/14 7:59pm
Marc Marquez at Le Mans
Marc Marquez continued his domination of MotoGP when claiming a fifth successive pole of the season ahead of Sunday's French Grand Prix at Le Mans.
The 21-year-old world champion has already won the opening four races of the 2014 calendar and another victory this weekend would make him the first rider in 42 years to prevail in the first five races of the season.
The Spaniard's Honda will be on the front row of the grid alongside compatriot Pol Espargaro and Italian Andrea Dovizioso.
Marquez, who finished third in this race last year, clocked a time of one minute, 32.042s on Saturday, 0.692 of a second ahead of Espargaro's Yamaha with the Ducati of Dovizioso .021 of a second further back.
Last year's winner Dani Pedrosa was down in ninth - 0.98s adrift of Marquez - while Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo were fifth and sixth respectively.
Two Brits were among the top 12 qualifiers with Bradley Smith 10th and last year's runner-up Cal Crutchlow two places further down the list.
Giacomo Agostini was the last rider, in 1972, to win the opening five races of a calendar year in this the blue riband class of motor-cycle racing.
Marquez said: "I'm very happy to be on pole and also with the gap between myself and second place on the timesheet.
"It will be interesting as my main rivals - Dani, Jorge and Valentino - are not on the front row but on rows two and three.
"However, I know they will be there in the battle and we must be prepared. Starting from pole is an advantage and I will try to capitalise from it and give 100 per cent, as always, to fight for the win."
In Moto2, newcomer Jonas Folger of Germany, who secured his first podium at the Spanish GP two weeks ago, clocked the fastest lap, with Spaniards Esteve Rabat and Luis Salom completing the front row.
In Moto3, Efren Vazquez of Spain earned his first career pole position and overall leader Jack Miller of Australia will start from second on the grid, while Romano Fenati of Italy, who won the last two races, will be on the fourth row.