MotoGP arrives in France with the action staying in Europe but moving to a sunny Le Mans. The temperatures saw some great lap times, with Moto3 and Moto3 providing very different sessions.
Moto3 was exciting to the very last second with Niccolo Antonelli charging to a late pole divong under Brad Binder’s time as he took the flag.
Moto2 saw Luthi get the pace of qualifying in the class and put in a strong, record setting lap early which held firm as his rivals chipped away at his fierce time.
Moto3, much like their races every week, went to the wire with Niccolo Antonelli leaving it to the last moment to set his 1m 42.756 for Ongetta Rivacold (Honda).
He displaced long time holder of provisional pole, Jerez winner and championship leader Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Brad Binder.
The front row is completed by another Honda, that of Aron Canet, the Estrella Galicia 0,0 rookie won here last season in the Spanish Championship and used his knowledge and fearlessness to push ahead.
He is just ahead of his team-mate Jorge Navarro, with Romano Fenati next in fifth, close to getting pole before being slowed by traffic. He is joined on row two by his Sky Racing VR46 team-mate Nicolo Bulega.
RBA Racing line up in seventh on the grid thanks to a best performance from Juanfran Guevara, last years pole sitter Fabio Quartararo eighth for Leopard Racing and Khairul Idham Pawi who soared up to ninth at the close for Honda Team Asia.
Fabio Di Giannantonio obliterated his previous best qualifying of 21st with a top ten start for Gresini.
Frenchman Alexis Masbou is the best placed of the home riders in 15th for the French/Indian Peugeot/Mahindra Saxoprint team. His team-mate John McPhee starts 25th.
Wild-card Davide Pizzoli and Gresini’s Enea Bastianini both miss qualifying and the race through injury.
Tom Luthi looked confident and assured in the pits and that translated into his on track performance where his early record lap of 1m 36.847s held off all-comers to give the Interwetten man pole at a track where he has a strong track record.
Old record holder and last seasons pole man Alex Rins chipped away and came closest to the Swiss riders best to finish the day second for Paginas Amarillas HP 40.
Lorenzo Baldassarri has a first ever front row start to celebrate in third with the Forward Team.
Simone Corsi battled on track, treating qualifying like a race to secure the fourth spot on the grid, just behind his team-mate on the timesheets.
Reigning champion Johann Zarco looked frustrated ahead of his home race, crashing on the way to fifth for Ajo Motorsport.
Sixth went to Franco Morbidelli who completes row two for Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS.
Taka Nakagami takes up seventh spot on the grid for Idemitsu, Jonas Folger never recovered from an early fall despite rejoining after fast work by his Dynavolt Intact GP machanics and will start eighth.
Sam Lowes had a disappointing day in ninth for Gresini, while top rookie Luca Marini impressed continually improving to the end to climb to tenth for Forward.
Miguel Oliveira secured 14th despite falling, qualifying ahead of his Leopard team-mate Danny Kent again with the Briton down in 21st.
Le Mans is the Tech 3 teams home race and their riders double faller Xavi Vierge and fellow crasher Isaac Vinales start 22nd and 23rd respectively.
Sandro Cortese misses qualifying and the race through injury.
For the full Moto3 result click here.
For the full Moto2 result click here.