2012 Moto2 champion and Honda rider Marc Marquez has taken pole position for Sunday's French Grand Prix.

The 20-year-old Spaniard produced an impressive performance in the qualifiers at Le Mans to finish 0.03 seconds ahead of compatriot Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha's defending champion.

Marc Marquez will start French GP on pole

Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso of Italy finished third and secured his first front row of the season, while British star and Tech 3 rider Cal Crutchlow came fourth, only narrowly missing out on the front row, after crashing out in the fourth practice session.

Where to Watch Live

The race starts at 1pm BST, with BBC Two and BBC Two HD providing live coverage in the UK.


Marquez had triumphed at the Grand Prix of the Americas last month, in only his second race in the premier class, to become the youngest rider in history to win a MotoGP race. The Spaniard, who is currently at the top of the championship standings, now has another chance to improve his foothold early on in the season.

The youngster posted a time of 1:33.187 to place himself ahead of veteran Lorenzo, who clocked 1.33.217. Meanwhile, Dovizioso recorded a qualifying time of 1:33.603 to come third, while Crutchlow was fourth with a time of 1:33.609 and would be disappointed after missing out the front row by just 0.006 seconds.

Marquez flanked by Dovizioso (L) and  Lorenzo

Honda rider Dani Pedrosa, who won the Spanish Grand Prix on his home turf two weeks ago, crashed with nine minutes of qualifying left but still managed to get back on the track to finish sixth, just behind LCR's Stefan Bradl. Still, a second row start is a setback for Pedrosa, who is just three points behind teammate and compatriot Marquez in the championship standings.

Yamaha returnee and nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi was eighth and Britain's Tech 3 rider Bradley Smith, ninth. Also in the top 10 are Gresini's Alvaro Bautista and Ducati's Nicky Hayden.

Top 10 MotoGP qualifying times from Le Mans:

1. Marc Marquez (Spain) Repsol Honda Team, 1 min 33.187

2. Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha Factory Racing, 1:33.217

3. Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Ducati Team, 1:33.603

4. Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Monster Yamaha Tech 3, 1:33.609

5. Stefan Bradl (Germany) LCR Honda MotoGP, 1:33.634

6. Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Repsol Honda Team, 1:33.639

7. Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Honda Gresini, 1:33.984

8. Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha Factory Racing, 1:34.009

9. Bradley Smith (Britain) Monster Yamaha Tech 3, 1:34.222

10. Nicky Hayden (U.S.) Ducati Team, 1:34.242