Jorge Lorenzo romped to a first pole position of the MotoGP season after a stunning performance in qualifying at Jerez, breaking the lap record in the process.
After setting the pace during the first round of flying laps, Lorenzo set two times good enough for pole in the closing stages, extending his advantage with a 1m38.243s before smashing the outright lap record with a scintillating 1m37.910s.
Marc Marquez was the Yamaha rider's nearest challenger, recovering from a lowside crash in final practice to seal second place with a 1m38.300s - which put the Repsol Honda rider within half a tenth of pole until Lorenzo's searing final effort.
A late surge handed the last slot on the front row to Ducati's Andrea Iannone, who set the pace in final practice but was 0.558s slower than Lorenzo, demoting Tech 3 rider Pol Espargaro to fourth ahead of the second factory Yamaha of Valentino Rossi and Suzuki's Aleix Espargaro.
Cal Crutchlow will start seventh after a somewhat disappointing session, with the third row being completed by Andrea Dovizioso aboard the second works Ducati and Yonny Hernandez, who came through the first part of qualifying along with Pramac Ducati teammate Danilo Petrucci.
The Italian will start from the fourth row between a pair of Brits, with Tech 3 Yamaha's Bradley Smith - another rider to suffer an off in final practice - going 10th quickest and Marc VDS Honda rider Scott Redding taking 12th.
Suzuki rider Maverick Vinales was visibly frustrated when he blew his chance of making it through into Q2 with a trip through the gravel, and will line up in 14th behind the lead Open class bike of compatriot Hector Barbera (Avintia Ducati).
|19||Stefan Bradl||Forward Yamaha||Q1|
|21||Loris Baz||Forward Yamaha||Q1|
|23||Mike Di Meglio||Ducati||Q1|
|24||Alex de Angelis||ART||Q1|