Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo has claimed his first pole position of the season with a new track record time of 1min 37.910sec for the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez.
The two-time world champion had been fastest in three of the four practice sessions on Friday and Saturday morning and continued that form into qualifying to break the record set by world champion Marc Marquez in claiming pole position last season.
Marquez was second fastest despite being bothered by a broken finger on his left hand, whilst Italian Andrea Iannone completed the front row of the grid.
Championship leader Valentino Rossi was unable to match the pace of his teammate Lorenzo as he could only manage fifth on the grid behind Pol Espargaro.
There were doubts over whether Marquez would even be able to ride this weekend after he broke the pinky finger in his left hand in a training accident last week.
The double world champion admitted he didn’t want to push too hard in qualifying for fear of another crash.
“I am very happy because I knew it would be very hard to get on the front row and we have managed that,” he said.
“Tomorrow will be a tough and long race, 28 laps, it appears as if Jorge is a little bit ahead but we will fight to be on the podium.”