Sam Lowes claimed pole position at the British Grand Prix for the second consecutive year after a late flyer denied Johann Zarco at Silverstone. The home favourite displyed impeccable timing to snatch top spot away from Zarco, moments after the Ajo rider had crashed out.
With conditions still treacherous following the rain-affected MotoGP session, a number of riders were caught out by the lack of grip. Miguel Oliveira was the first to go down, doing so within seconds of setting a provisional pole time, while Mattia Pasini, a star in the wet on two occasions already this season, was another to come unstuck.
Predictably, Oliveira’s pole time didn’t stand for long as Simone Corsi edged ahead for Speed Up before a flurry of improvements left Zarco on top of the pile. His spell on top was ended by Alex Marquez who appeared to carrying over his impressive form from Brno, the Spaniard lowering the target time to a 2:27.506 on the Marc VDS Kalex.
Zarco soon took a stranglehold on the session though, taking pole shortly after the halfway stage, and when Marquez took a tumble at Luffield, his most realistic challenger appeared to be out of the equation. That all changed with five minutes to go as the Frenchman had his own spill at Copse, leaving him powerless to prevent Lowes from grabbing a second home pole, four tenths ahead of the no.5.
Jonas Folger showcased his wet-weather skills once again to take third ahead of Marquez while Hafizh Syahrin and Franco Morbidelli complete the second row. Isaac Vinales produced arguably the day’s stand-out performance, qualifying seventh for Tech 3, while Lorenzo Baldassarri was eighth ahead of Corsi and Thomas Luthi.
Championship contender Alex Rins never looked his normal self in the wet conditions, just as he hadn’t in the dry, and the Pons rider faces a mountain to climb from 19th.