Casey Stoner claimed pole position for the British Grand Prix on Saturday but the home fans were left devastated by an accident for home favourite Cal Crutchlow.
The Tech 3 rider crashed at turn two in the early stages of the one-hour session and was later diagnosed with a fractured left collarbone and a concussion, ruling him out of taking part in his home Grand Prix.
The battle for pole was a three-way affair between Stoner, Marco Simoncelli and Jorge Lorenzo, and the World Champion was the first man to go under the 2:03 mark with just over half an hour to go with a 2:02.611.
Stoner had a brief spell at the front before Simoncelli set two consecutive flying laps to establish himself at the front. But Stoner, who had been quickest in every session of the weekend so far, landed the crucial blow with seven minutes remaining, lapping in 2:02.020.
Lorenzo and Simoncelli both went back out to respond but their final runs were effectively a battle for second, which fell in the favour of the San Carlo Gresini man by less than three hundredths of a second.
Ben Spies took a comfortable fourth ahead of Andrea Dovizioso but the third rider on the second row of the grid surprised many. Karel Abraham qualified a stunning sixth to the delight of the Cardion AB Motoracing squad and the Czech rider was the fastest of the Ducatis with Nicky Hayden in seventh.
Colin Edwards at least provided some cheer for the luckless Tech 3 team with eighth place with Alvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) and Randy de Puniet (Pramac Ducati) completing the top ten.
Hiroshi Aoyama and Hector Barbera were both ahead of Valentino Rossi whose miserable weekend continued. The former World Champion could do no better than 13th which is his worst qualifying result since the last race of the 2007 season.
Toni Elias and Loris Capirossi will complete the 15 rider grid for tomorrow's race, with Cal Crutchlow's injuries ruling him out of the race.
|1||Casey Stoner||AUS||Repsol Honda Team||2:02.020|
|2||Marco Simoncelli||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||2:02.208||+0.188|
|3||Jorge Lorenzo||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||2:02.237||+0.217|
|4||Ben Spies||USA||Yamaha Factory Racing||2:02.677||+0.657|
|5||Andrea Dovizioso||ITA||Repsol Honda Team||2:03.212||+1.192|
|6||Karel Abraham||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||2:04.151||+2.131|
|7||Nicky Hayden||USA||Ducati Team||2:04.304||+2.284|
|8||Colin Edwards||USA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||2:04.508||+2.488|
|9||Alvaro Bautista||SPA||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||2:04.520||+2.500|
|10||Randy de Puniet||FRA||Pramac Racing Team||2:04.589||+2.569|
|11||Hiroshi Aoyama||JAP||San Carlo Honda Gresini||2:04.919||+2.899|
|12||Hector Barbera||SPA||Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP||2:05.164||+3.144|
|13||Valentino Rossi||ITA||Ducati Team||2:05.781||+3.761|
|14||Toni Elias||SPA||LCR Honda MotoGP||2:05.862||+3.842|
|15||Loris Capirossi||ITA||Pramac Racing Team||2:06.256||+4.236|
|16||Cal Crutchlow||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||2:07.911||+5.891|
|107% Time: 2:10.561|