Marc Marquez defeated Jorge Lorenzo to secure pole position in a scintillating MotoGP qualifying session at Silverstone.
Cal Crutchlow, meanwhile, bounced back from his brace of Saturday morning crashes to secure a front-row start for his home race, ahead of Dani Pedrosa, Stefan Bradl and Valentino Rossi.
Yamaha rider Lorenzo sparked off an unbelievable fight with Marquez when he fired in a 2m01.497s on his first lap of the shootout, decimating Casey Stoner's 2011 lap record. Marquez though responded instantly and lowered the benchmark further, before Lorenzo reclaimed the initiative with a 2m01.217s on the final lap of his first run.
After pitting for fresh rubber the duo's spectacular head-to-head resumed, with Lorenzo instantly breaking into the 2m00s bracket. Still Marquez had an answer, and his own first flyer – complete with several lurid moments – was a 2m00.691s, some 0.128 seconds faster than Lorenzo, and nearly 1.5sec than the previous lap record. Honda's Spaniard, chasing a fifth straight win at Silverstone, will therefore start from pole for the fifth time this year.
CRUTCHLOW MAKES IT ONTO FRONT ROW AT HOME
Crutchlow had no answer to the pace of the front two, but booked third for Tech 3 courtesy of a late 2m01.425s. LCR's Bradl, meanwhile, edged out factory counterpart Pedrosa to fourth, with Rossi a further four tenths of a second down the road in sixth.
He was almost shunted down to seventh by Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, but the Italian missed out on a second row start by just 0.014sec. Instead he shared the third row with Gresini's Alvaro Bautista and teammate Nicky Hayden.
Tech 3's Bradley Smith will start from 10th, and Colin Edwards from 11th, after Aleix Espargaro was unable to compete in Q2 following a nasty highside in practice four that resulted in a compound fracture of his little finger.
Edwards was only just able to squeeze through into Q2, withstanding a late charge from Espargaro's Aspar stablemate Randy de Puniet, who missed out by just 0.006sec.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap
1. Marc Marquez Honda 2m00.691s
2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2m00.819s +0.128s
3. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 2m01.425s +0.734s
4. Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 2m01.558s +0.867s
5. Dani Pedrosa Honda 2m01.624s +0.933s
6. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 2m02.109s +1.418s
7. Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 2m02.123s +1.432s
8. Alvaro Bautista Gresini Honda 2m02.252s +1.561s
9. Nicky Hayden Ducati 2m02.289s +1.598s
10. Bradley Smith Tech 3 Yamaha 2m02.409s +1.718s
11. Colin Edwards Forward FTR-Kawasaki 2m04.032s +3.341s
12. Aleix Espargaro Aspar Aprilia 2m03.464s +2.773s
13. Randy de Puniet Aspar Aprilia 2m04.114s +3.423s
14. Hector Barbera Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 2m04.236s +3.545s
15. Michele Pirro Pramac Ducati 2m04.680s +3.989s
16. Andrea Iannone Pramac Ducati 2m04.692s +4.001s
17. Yonny Hernandez PBM Aprilia 2m04.749s +4.058s
18. Danilo Petrucci Ioda-Suter-BMW 2m04.798s +4.107s
19. Michael Laverty PBM-Aprilia 2m04.936s +4.245s
20. Claudio Corti Forward FTR-Kawasaki 2m05.356s +4.665s
21. Hiroshi Aoyama Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 2m05.622s +4.931s
22. Lukas Pesek Ioda-Suter-BMW 2m07.261s +6.570s
23. Bryan Staring Gresini FTR-Honda 2m07.300s +6.609s