Cal Crutchlow secured the second pole position of his MotoGP career after getting his tactics spot on in a strange session at Brno. The Briton found a clear space of track to set a new circuit record while others seemed too busy worrying about a slipstream in the closing minutes.
Crutchlow had gone into qualifying as the fastest rider after topping FP3 and he made the ideal start to Q2 with a 1:56.081 but his supremacy was challenged by a pair of Hondas. Marc Marquez crossed the line on his first flying lap to set a 1:55.863 but Alvaro Bautista was locked onto his rear wheel and unwittingly, the championship leader had towed Alvaro to a 1:55.754, costing himself provisional pole.
The riders headed out for their second runs and immediately Crutchlow noticed the game being played behind him as Bautista lurked in his slipstream. A visibly irritated Crutchlow waved the Spaniard through on his out lap and concentrated on his own session and it seemed to work as the Tech 3 rider took his Yamaha to a 1:55.527, two tenths quicker than Bautista and enough for pole position on the same track where he claimed his maiden rostrum finish last year.
Marc Marquez’s tactics were the most questionable of all with the Repsol Honda rider seemingly more worried about stopping riders from following him than he was on improving his own time. As a result, he didn’t set a competitive time on his second run and stayed in third place. His chief rivals struggled though with Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo fourth and fifth, keeping the 20 year old on the front row.
Bradley Smith’s ever-improving rookie season continued with sixth place, just a tenth of a second away from the front row, and a similar margin ahead of seventh placed Valentino Rossi on the factory Yamaha. Stefan Bradl will start a disappointing eighth ahead of the Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden with Andrea Iannone eleventh after overcoming a crash to get out of Q1.
Colin Edwards also shone to get into the second session and will start twelfth with Aleix Espargaro proving to be the fall guy after a crash earlier on.