May 7, 2016 / 2:40 PM / 3 years ago

Lorenzo on pole at Le Mans

Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo of Spain races his bike during the third qualifying session ahead of the Valencia Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Ricardo Tormo racetrack in Cheste, near Valencia, Spain, November 7, 2015. REUTERS/Heino Kalis

(Reuters) - MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo took pole position for the French Grand Prix at Le Mans on Saturday while Yamaha team mate Valentino Rossi struggled and could manage only the third row of the grid.

Lorenzo was 0.441 faster than fellow-Spaniard and championship leader Marc Marquez, on the Honda, with the quickest lap yet on the short Bugatti circuit.

Italian Andrea Iannone qualified third for Ducati despite a fall towards the end of the session.

Rossi, winner of the previous race in Spain, will start seventh and was outqualified by both the non-works Tech3 Yamahas.

Marquez leads Lorenzo by 17 points overall with Rossi a further seven points behind after four races.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis

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