Eric Granado claimed pole position in a dramatic and incident-packed wet qualifying session at Le Mans.
The Brazilian led the first laps of the session but fell off his bike suffering a big hit in the early stages of the 12-minute session, with the wet E-Pole format coming into play following a torrential downpour just before the start of the session.
It meant, rather than one rider heading out on track at a time with one flying lap, all 18 riders were able to take to the track at the same time for a maximum of six laps including out- and in-laps, giving every competitor four timed laps.
Brazilian Granado ultimately finished the session in fifth place, but a series of changes following the conclusion of the session meant he jumped back up to the front.
The wet track caused several accidents, including the above-mentioned involving then-session leader Granado. Dominique Aegerter then moved up to the front, although he had his best lap time removed following a crash at the final corner which brought out the yellow flags.
As the session came to an end, Aegerter was leading with rookie Miquel Pons and Hikari Okubo following suit in second and third place respectively.
However, several changes occurred in the standings once the session was over. Granado moved up to pole position. Pons, whose times changed shortly after the session, would remain in second place ahead of tomorrow’s race. Matteo Ferrari will complete the front row in third place.
Aegerter, who looked like he would be tomorrow’s poleman, dropped to sixth place. Above him, the Swiss rider has Xavi Cardelus in fourth and Alessandro Zaccone in fifth.
Okubo also saw his times changing and the final results show the Japanese will start from tenth place tomorrow.
Corentin Perolari, who qualified in 15th, has a three-place grid penalty for causing a crash at the Spanish GP at Jerez.
Photo courtesy MotoGP.