Marc Marquez stunned championship rival Stefan Bradl by beating him to pole position in a thrilling conclusion to qualifying at Brno. The series leader was in dominant form throughout the weekend and was over half a second ahead of everybody else at one stage, but heading into the final few minutes, no fewer than five riders were all fighting it out for the three spots on the front row.
Bradl's advantage evaporated with seven minutes left on the clock when Marquez clocked a 2:02.740, the fastest lap of the weekend so far. Bradl fought back with two minutes to go, going three hundredths quicker but Thomas Luthi and Andrea Iannone were coming into contention.
Iannone put in a 2:03.009 to move onto the front row but was instantly knocked off by Luthi. Fourth then became fifth when Alex De Angelis rocketed up to second. The San Marino rider was following Marquez around the circuit and used the slipstream to great effect, pushing the Spaniard down to third.
Marquez wasn't finished though and produced a scintillating lap to take his third consecutive pole, beating Bradl by two tenths of a second with De Angelis close behind in third. Luthi and Iannone drew the short straws and will start fourth and fifth with Aleix Espargaro qualifying an excellent sixth despite riding with a broken vertebra.
The two Ioda Racing FTRs will start on the third row with Simone Corsi seventh and Mattia Pasini matching his best qualifying performance of the year in eighth. Claudio Corti completed an all Italian third row in ninth while Randy Krummenacher finished tenth despite missing the end of the session with a crash.
The two British riders had a tough session though and both will have work to do in the race. Bradley Smith was running fourth in the very early stages but gradually slipped down the order before salvaging 16th with his final lap of the session. Scott Redding struggled too and will be hugely disappointed with 20th after troubling the top six in free practice.
Their problems were nothing compared to Julian Simon who crashed on his first flying lap of the session. As a result, the former 125cc World Champion will start at the back of the 39-man grid, assuming he isn't badly injured following his accident.
|1||Marc Marquez||SPA||Suter||Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol||2:02.493|
|2||Stefan Bradl||GER||Kalex||Viessman Kiefer Racing||+0.211|
|3||Alex de Angelis||RSM||Motobi||JIR Moto2||+0.232|
|4||Thomas Luthi||SWI||Suter||Interwetten Paddock Moto2||+0.355|
|5||Andrea Iannone||ITA||Suter||Speed Master||+0.450|
|6||Aleix Espargaro||SPA||Pons Kalex||Pons HP 40||+0.968|
|7||Simone Corsi||ITA||FTR||Ioda Racing Project||+1.004|
|8||Mattia Pasini||ITA||FTR||Ioda Racing Project||+1.030|
|9||Claudio Corti||ITA||Suter||Italtrans Racing Team||+1.052|
|10||Randy Krummenacher||SWI||Kalex||GP Team Switzerland Kiefer Racing||+1.113|
|11||Jules Cluzel||FRA||Suter||NGM Forward Racing||+1.134|
|14||Pol Espargaro||SPA||FTR||HP Tuenti Speed Up||+1.222|
|15||Max Neukirchner||GER||MZ-RE Honda||MZ Racing Team||+1.256|
|16||Bradley Smith||GBR||Tech 3||Tech 3 Racing||+1.351|
|17||Yuki Takahashi||JAP||Moriwaki||Gresini Racing Moto2||+1.356|
|19||Valentin Debise||FRA||FTR||Speed Up||+1.512|
|20||Scott Redding||GBR||Suter||Marc VDS Racing Team||+1.532|
|21||Ratthapark Wilairot||THA||FTR||Thai Honda Singha SAG||+1.589|
|22||Michele Pirro||ITA||Moriwaki||Gresini Racing Moto2||+1.660|
|23||Jordi Torres||SPA||Suter||Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2||+1.685|
|24||Mike Di Meglio||FRA||Tech 3||Tech 3 Racing||+1.827|
|25||Robertino Pietri||VEN||Suter||Italtrans Racing Team||+1.858|
|26||Ricard Cardus||SPA||Moriwaki||QMMF Racing Team||+1.995|
|27||Axel Pons||SPA||Pons Kalex||Pons HP 40||+2.081|
|28||Carmelo Morales||SPA||Suter||Desguaces La Torre G22||+2.093|
|30||Mika Kallio||FIN||Suter||Marc VDS Racing Team||+2.330|
|31||Alex Baldolini||ITA||Suter||NGM Forward Racing||+2.422|
|33||Xavier Simeon||BEL||Tech 3||Tech 3 B||+2.727|
|34||Anthony West||AUS||MZ-RE Honda||MZ Racing Team||+3.220|
|35||Steven Odendaal (WC)||RSA||Suter||MS Racing||+3.498|
|36||Santiago Hernandez||COL||FTR||SAG Team||+3.856|
|37||Mashel Al Naimi||QAT||Moriwaki||QMMF Racing Team||+5.012|
|38||Tommaso Lorenzetti||ITA||FTR||Aeroport de Castello||+5.764|
|107% Time: 2:11.068|
|NQ||Julian Simon||SPA||Suter||Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2||No Time|