Le Mans : 125cc final qualifying
The valiant Mattia Pasini took his fourth 125cc pole in succession today at the Alice Grand Prix de France with another record breaking lap of the famous Le Mans track.
The 21 year-old Polaris World rider has just six World Championship
points to his name thus far in 2007 despite his brilliant qualifying run, having only finished one race - tenth in China a fortnight ago – due to a series of technical problems in the opening three rounds.
But Pasini approaches each Grand Prix weekend with fresh vigour and this afternoon's second qualifying session saw him grab first place on the grid for tomorrow's race from provisional pole man Gabor Talmacsi with another circuit best lap of 1'43.111s – which was 0.458s quicker than his closest rival.
That lap was remarkably 1.297s quicker than Pasini's best time from Friday, whilst three riders in the top eight managed to improve their best effort from yesterday by more than two seconds. That sharpening of the pace meant that Talmacsi's mere 0.217s improvement saw him drop from provisional pole to eighth on the grid.
An excellent performance from Repsol Honda's 16 year-old Englishman Bradley Smith in just his second Grand Prix season saw him take 1.
579s of his Friday time to earn second place on the grid – his best ever qualifying position giving him a good opportunity to improve on his best race result to date of eighth, which he has achieved three times so far.
Joining Pasini and Smith on the front row are Tomoyoshi Koyama of Red Bull KTM 125 and Bancaja Aspar's Hector Faubel – whilst the second row comprises Lukas Pesek, Sergio Gadea, Andrea Iannone and the aforementioned Talmacsi.
DORNA / CAPSIS International