Bradley Smith has spoken of his relief at snatching a stunning pole position for tomorrow’s British 125GP at Donington Park.
The Oxfordshire rider feared he was going to be facing a tough day when he finished only 12th fastest in this morning’s second practice session.
But the 18-year-old was in sparkling form during qualifying, fighting out a thrilling late fuel with KTM rival Marc Marquez.
Smith needed to produce a brilliant last lap of 1.37.442 after Marquez had bumped him back to second in the dying moments of the session.
Smith’s lap secured him his second pole position of the season by 0.131s and he said: “To get pole today was great and it looked like this morning I was going to struggle.
"I was really worried and didn’t have any feeling and I was down in 12th. I was thinking maybe this is going to a home Grand Prix to forget but my team pulled together an absolutely great bike this afternoon.
"I was two seconds faster than this morning and immediately I felt good. The only person I had to worry about was Marquez on those last couple of laps.
"When he took it off me I knew I had to go faster and it was scary on the last lap. There were definitely a few moments but I was glad to see pole position.
"There’s a little bit of added pressure being at home but I suppose starting first with nobody else in front of me makes it a little bit easier.
"I’ve just got to concentrate on those first five laps and see how the race unfolds. Donington is always a track that throws up a bit of a strange race.
"There will always be action in T4 on the last lap and early in the race as well.
"I just need to try and get some breathing space and see who is ready to come with me in the group.”