Marc Marquez survived a major scare to take a dominant pole position in qualifying for the 125cc Catalan Grand Prix at Barcelona.
The Ajo Derbi rider looked set for a big accident at the penultimate corner with six minutes of the 40-minute session remaining, but somehow managed to pick his bike up mid-turn after the front tire looked to have totally run out of grip.
On his very next lap, though, the 17-year-old Spaniard, who was already on top of the timesheets by a tenth of a second, set an impressive time of 1m50.543s to secure his third consecutive pole and his fifth of the 2010 season.
Bradley Smith looked set for second on the grid on his Aspar Aprilia as he seized the position with a minute to go - despite Randy Krummenacher crashing his Arie Molenaar Aprilia at the final corner while just feet in front of him.
However, the British rider was relegated to third just 15 seconds later as local hero Pol Espargaro grabbed a useful tow to put his Tuenti Derbi ahead of him, a little under 0.3sec slower than Marquez.
Championship leader Nico Terol held the top spot for a few minutes mid-session on his Aspar Aprilia, but was pushed back to fourth by the end.
Sandro Cortese, who struggled to break into the top-15 early on, made it up to sixth by the end on his Ajo Derbi. Tomoyoshi Koyama (Team Germany Aprilia), Esteve Rabat (Blusens Aprilia) and Efren Vazquez (Tuenti Derbi) completed the second row.
Alexis Masbou took a season's best ninth on his Ongetta Aprilia while Johan Zarco (WTR Aprilia) completed the top 10. Britain's Danny Webb (Andalucia Cajasol Aprilia) was 16th – his worst grid spot of the year.
Pos Driver Bike Time Gap
1. Marc Marquez Derbi 1m50.543s
2. Pol Espargaro Derbi 1m50.809s + 0.266s
3. Bradley Smith Aprilia 1m51.019s + 0.476s
4. Nicolas Terol Aprilia 1m51.066s + 0.523s
5. Sandro Cortese Derbi 1m51.546s + 1.003s
6. Tomoyoshi Koyama Aprilia 1m51.824s + 1.281s
7. Esteve Rabat Aprilia 1m51.890s + 1.347s
8. Efren Vazquez Derbi 1m51.951s + 1.408s
9. Alexis Masbou Aprilia 1m52.316s + 1.773s
10. Johann Zarco Aprilia 1m52.478s + 1.935s
11. Simone Grotzkyj Aprilia 1m52.538s + 1.995s
12. Jonas Folger Aprilia 1m52.580s + 2.037s
13. Alberto Moncayo Aprilia 1m52.758s + 2.215s
14. Randy Krummenacher Aprilia 1m52.765s + 2.222s
15. Luis Salom Aprilia 1m52.801s + 2.258s
16. Danny Webb Aprilia 1m52.861s + 2.318s
17. Sturla Fagerhaug Aprilia 1m52.884s + 2.341s
18. Zulfahmi Khairuddin Aprilia 1m53.179s + 2.636s
19. Adrian Martin Aprilia 1m53.486s + 2.943s
20. Jasper Iwema Aprilia 1m53.525s + 2.982s
21. Isaac Vinales Aprilia 1m53.609s + 3.066s
22. Johnny Rosell Honda 1m53.824s + 3.281s
23. Marcel Schrotter Honda 1m54.055s + 3.512s
24. Louis Rossi Aprilia 1m54.510s + 3.967s
25. Luca Marconi Aprilia 1m54.695s + 4.152s
26. Joan Perello Honda 1m54.735s + 4.192s
27. Michael van der Mark Lambretta 1m55.157s + 4.614s
28. Jakub Kornfeil Aprilia 1m55.777s + 5.234s
29. Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 1m56.211s + 5.668s
30. Marco Ravaioli Lambretta 1m56.544s + 6.001s
31. Eduard Lopez Aprilia 1m57.198s + 6.655s
32. Peter Sebestyen Aprilia 1m57.404s + 6.861s