Francesco Bagnaia secured another lap record and so another pole position at the French Grand Prix on Saturday, this time leading a Ducati one-two ahead of Jack Miller.
Bagnaia had ended defending MotoGP champion Fabio Quartararo's sequence of four consecutive poles last time out at the Grand Prix of Spain, setting a Jerez record.
The Italian protected that position to win for the first time this season and will hope to repeat the feat at Le Mans, where he was again dominant in qualifying.
Bagnaia's time of 1:30.450 edged out Miller by 0.069 seconds, with Quartararo – looking to become the first home winner in France since 1954 – forced to settle for fourth.
Should have farted nothing in it 0.069 off the pole position! Unreal for the team to have us boys 1 and 2 for tomorrow, I threw everything at that lap and we'll be starting the race from the front row! Let's get after it— Jack Miller (@jackmilleraus) May 14, 2022
But the Monster Energy Yamaha rider, who again leads the standings, recognises Bagnaia and Ducati are doing something special in qualifying.
Indeed, Bagnaia has a leading eight poles since the start of last season.
"I was disappointed, but two minutes later I was happy," Quartararo said. "On the qualifying, we miss something – all the time, not only in qualifying.
"Ducati is able to really do something crazy – and the riders, I would not say only Ducati.
"But we are all the same in the race pace, so it's difficult to really make the difference."
Even so, Bagnaia believes Quartararo will be the man to beat, although he added: "I think after the modification I did in qualifying, I am more close now.
"But it's difficult to say now. The forecast says tomorrow it will rain. I hope it will not be like this, but it looks like it could be."
1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 1:30.450
2. Jack Miller (Ducati) +0.069s
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) +0.159s
4. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.238s
5. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) +0.261s
6. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +0.413s
7. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.493s
8. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.527s
9. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +0.618s
10. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +0.698s