Jorge Lorenzo captured pole position for the Czech Grand Prix in record-setting fashion, becoming the first MotoGP rider to crack the 1:54 barrier at the tricky 5.403-km Brno circuit.
The Yamaha rider took control of the 15-minute Q2 session early on before improving on his final lap to beat Marc Marquez and teammate Valentino Rossi. It is only the second time in 2015 where Rossi will start on the front row — the only other occasion coming in Assen.
Andrea Iannone was the quickest Ducati rider in fourth, followed by Bradley Smith, Andrea Dovizioso, Maverick Vinales and Pol Espargaro.
Dani Pedrosa, still recovering from Friday’s highside crash, qualified down in ninth. He suffered a left ankle contusion in the crash, but continues to ride through the pain.
Cal Crutchlow, who advanced through Q1 alongside Espargaro, rounds out the top 10 for CWM LCR Honda.
Lorenzo will look to close the gap to championship leader Rossi in Sunday’s race, but will need to overcome a cursed pole position. In the previous five races at the Brno circuit, no rider has won from pole — in fact, no rider has won from better than third on the grid since 2009.
Rossi carries a nine-point advantage over Lorenzo. Marquez faces a 56-point deficit after a dismal start to the season.
The Czech Grand Prix can be seen live on FOX Sports 1 Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET/4:30 a.m. PT.