Roberts Earns First Front-Row Start Of The Year At Le Mans

Joe Roberts will start from the front row in tomorrow’s French Grand Prix at Le Mans. File photo courtesy of Italtrans Racing.

Italtrans Racing’s Joe Roberts definitely got a sample of all conditions on a day of mixed weather in France, the California topping Q1 in the dry and then finishing his day with the third fastest time and a front-row start for tomorrow’s Shark Grand Prix of France at Le Mans. It will be Roberts’ first front-row start of the young season.

American Racing Team’s Cameron Beaubier, meanwhile, ended up 10th in Q2 and 23rd overall and will start tomorrow’s Moto2 Grand Prix from the middle of the eighth row.

“This has been one of the weirdest weekends,” Roberts said from Parc Ferme. “I was like nowhere yesterday and I have no idea why. All of my good laps yesterday got cancelled because of the yellow flags so to bring it all back, it’s really nice. It’s just been a crazy weekend. You never know what you’re gonna get and it’s the first time I’ve ridden this bike with rain tires so it’s nice to be quick on it. The conditions out there were a little slippery. I tried to push on the last lap to improve the time. I had no idea where I was or who was fast, but I lost the front in turn eight. I’m happy for the team. This is the first front row of the year in qualifying, so I’m stoked. Will see what the weather will bring tomorrow because I don’t think anybody can predict it. It will just be whatever happens.”

Pole position, his first of the year, went to class rookie Raul Fernandez on the Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex. The Spaniard lapped at a best of 1:50.135 in the wet conditions to best SKY Racing Team VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi by .240 of a second. Those two will lead Roberts and his best of 1:50.514 on the front row for tomorrow’s Grand Prix.

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