Bradley Smith came within 0.3s of claiming a stunning home pole position for the British 125GP at Silverstone tomorrow.
The 19-year-old looked like he’d done enough to secure his seventh career pole when a best lap of 2.14.966 moved him to the top of the timesheets in the closing stages of 125GP qualifying.
Smith was just 0.040s clear of Mugello winner Marc Marquez when the Spaniard produced a brilliant last lap attack to claim his third pole position of 2010.
Marquez denied Smith a second consecutive home pole position with a lap of 2.14.667 to take top spot by 0.299s from Oxfordshire rider Smith, who will start from the front row for the second time this season.
Pol Espargaro will start from third on the grid after he maintained his 100 per cent front row record with a best time of 2.15.112. It is the first time in five races that the Spaniard has not qualified in second spot on the grid.
Completing the front row is series leader Nicolas Terol. He goes into tomorrow’s 17-lap British Grand Prix looking to extend a six-point lead over compatriot Espargaro.
Smith’s Aspar Aprilia team-mate clocked a best time of 2.15.571 to finish just under a second off pole position.
Danny Webb equalled his best qualifying performance of the campaign with eighth place.
The Kent rider posted a best time of 2.16.689 on his Aprilia machine and will start from the back of the second row.
Webb’s time in the final stages did promote him as high as fifth spot before he lost places in a typically frantic conclusion to a session run in blustery and cool conditions at the iconic Northamptonshire venue.
It is the third time this season that Webb will start from eighth.