BRNO, Czech Republic – Cal Crutchlow stormed to his second MotoGP pole position on Saturday for the bwin Grand Prix České republiky at the Masaryk Circuit.
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider will start alongside GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista and Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez, while Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo round out the top five.
A second career pole looked to be heading the way of Bautista after the Gresini rider intelligently picked up Marquez’s slipstream to dip underneath Lorenzo’s 2012 qualifying record. Following a stop in the pit lane, Crutchlow would go on to beat this by more than two tenths of a second thanks to his rapid time of 1:55.527.
With Bautista on the front row for the second time in three races, championship leader – and winner of the last three Grands Prix – Marquez crucially starts ahead of his closest two title contenders, with teammate and last year’s Brno winner Pedrosa only five thousandths of a second in arrears and Lorenzo a further 81 thousandths behind.
The reigning World Champion expected more, though, not least after testing at Brno in the mid-season break as well as beginning the weekend as fastest rider.
Tech3’s Bradley Smith equalled his qualifying best by beating the second Yamaha Factory Racing rider Valentino Rossi to sixth place, as LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl and Ducati Team duo Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden completed the first group of ten.