Jorge Lorenzo fended off the challenge of Marc Marquez to secure pole position at the Czech Grand Prix, as Valentino Rossi made it to the front row for only the second time in 2015.
Having already smashed the Brno track record during Saturday morning practice, Lorenzo wasted no time in finding even more speed, setting a scorching time of 1m55.238s on his first flying lap, three tenths quicker than Marquez's opening gambit.
During his second run, the factory Yamaha rider found even more time – breaking through the 1m55s barrier with a 1m54.989s, a full half a second faster than the old record set by Cal Crutchlow in 2013, to cement a second pole position of the season.
"This morning, I was able to make this 1m55.4s, the track record, but it was with the old front tyre. And I knew with a new front tyre I could go even faster," said Lorenzo.
"We were lucky that it wasn't as hot as yesterday, so that helped with the lap time as well. I have a good pace but for sure tomorrow won't be easy."
Having lagged behind Lorenzo for much of the weekend, Marquez came very close to deposing his compatriot in the final reckoning, losing out by just 0.074s to take second.
Rossi meanwhile had struggled down in seventh early on, before leapfrogging Andrea Iannone's Ducati and Bradley Smith's Tech 3 Yamaha with his final lap, the seven-time champion taking third with a time 0.364s shy of teammate Lorenzo.
Behind Iannone and Smith, the second Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso completed the second row, with Maverick Vinales leading the third row on the best of the Suzukis in seventh.
Pol Espargaro (Tech 3 Yamaha) was forced to fight his way through to Q2, and ended up in eighth place ahead of Dani Pedrosa on the second works Honda, still struggling with ankle pain from his Friday crash, and the second rider to advance from Q1, Crutchlow (LCR Honda).
|17||Mike Di Meglio||Ducati||1m57.215||2.226|
|18||Loris Baz||Yamaha Forward||1m57.540||2.551|
|23||Alex de Angelis||ART/Aprilia||1m58.599||3.610|
|24||Claudio Corti||Yamaha Forward||1m59.145||4.156|