Bradley Smith bounced back from a heavy crash in a wet morning practice session to qualify on the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s German 125GP.
The British rider secured his fifth successive front row start with a best lap of 1.27.378 securing him third place on the grid for the 27-lap race.
Smith, who suffered a high-side crash in tricky conditions this morning after early thunderstorms, ended a massive 1.325s off Marc Marquez's pole position though.
The 19-year-old, who crashed twice in last year’s Sachsenring race, was 0.782s away from Pol Espargaro in second place as the Spanish duo dominated a session run under grey and gloomy but dry skies.
Smith’s lap time though saved him from a tough start to tomorrow’s race, as he’d found himself down on the second row and out of the top six in the final stages.
The Aspar Aprilia rider though will need to significantly raise his game to have any chance of claiming a first world championship success since last year’s Italian 125GP at Mugello.
Marquez took his fourth successive pole position and sixth of the 2010 campaign with another majestic performance on his Derbi machine.
The Spaniard set the early pace but his hopes of yet another pole came under serious threat from compatriot Espargaro.
Espargaro seized the initiative with just five minutes remaining when he clocked a time of 1.26.851. That put him 0.059s clear of Marquez.
But Marquez put the hammer down with just over a minute of the session left on the clock and his best time of 1.26.053 easily eclipsed Espargaro.
Marquez ended a massive 0.543s clear of Espargaro and he will start an overwhelming favourite to claim his fifth straight win having gone on a remarkable winning streak since last month’s Mugello race.
Home favourite Sandro Cortese claimed the final spot on the front row with a best time of 1.27.387.
Cortese had been as high as third in the final four minutes.
Randy Krummenacher and Efren Vazquez both threatened to put themselves on the front row before missing out in the decisive final moments.
Krummenacher ended up fifth for third time this season while Spaniard Vazquez had to settle for sixth after he’d occupied a top three place with just over ten minutes remaining.
British rider Danny Webb will start from tenth on the grid after posting a best lap of 1.28.324. That left him 2.271s off pole position but the Kent rider is chasing a sixth successive top ten finish in tomorrow’s race.