Bradley Smith romped to his first 125GP pole position of the 2010 campaign with a brilliant display at the Brno circuit this afternoon.
The Oxfordshire rider, who topped the practice timesheets in misty conditions this morning, maintained his impressive form in the all-important qualifying session.
Smith was in control of the session from the moment he first surged to the top of the timesheets with 17 minutes elapsed.
A lap of 2.07.944 put him a massive 0.808s clear of Pol Espargaro and he was never really seriously threatened from that point on.
Espargaro did managed to slash the gap to just 0.129s with 17 minutes remaining but a series of fast laps ensured Smith kept a healthy advantage to secure the seventh pole position of his career.
Smith’s pace was too hot for his rivals and with just under 15 minutes remaining he extended his lead back out to a commanding 0.810s with a lap of 2.07.263.
Aspar Aprilia team-mate Nicolas Terol did his best to challenge Smith’s domination and a lap of 2.07.677 cut the gap to 0.414s.
But Smith then posted a 2.07.146 lap to stretch his lead back to 0.531s. Spaniard Terol was certainly in tenacious mood on his return from injury and he kept trying to snatch pole position for the first time since the French Grand Prix at Le Mans.
A lap of 2.07.630 reduced the deficit to 0.484s but Smith will start from pole position for tomorrow’s 19-lap race as he goes in search of a first win since the Italian Grand Prix 14 months ago.
Espargaro was the only other rider to lap inside of a second of Smith’s blistering pace as a lap of 2.08.073 left him a massive 0.927s adrift of the 19-year-old.
Smith ended Marc Marquez’s incredible run of four successive pole positions as the Spaniard bravely secured a front row start just 24 hours after dislocating his left shoulder in a big practice high-side.
He was languishing outside of the top 25 in the early stages but produced a heroic effort to clock a best time of 2.08.186 that secured him fourth spot.
The Derbi rider is chasing a sixth straight win in tomorrow’s race as he looks to increase his 26-point lead over fellow Spaniard Espargaro.
British teenager Danny Webb was unable to build on his excellent sixth place in yesterday’s opening practice session.
A quickest time of 2.09.639 left the Kent rider down in 11th place on the grid as he missed a top ten slot by just 0.143s.