Home hero Bradley Smith has taken pole position for the 125cc British Grand Prix at Donington Park, after a frenzied conclusion to the 40-minute session.

Smith had snatched pole with five minutes to go, but was soon displaced by KTM's Marc Marquez. The young Englishman then dug deep to regain a popular pole by 0.131sec on his very last lap, and showed just what it meant to him by repeatedly punching the air with delight on his slow down lap.

Smith will be chasing his third victory of the season on Sunday.

Marquez held on to second while Smith's Aspar Aprilia team-mate and world championship leader, Julian Simon, suffered a scare when he fell in the opening minutes and was forced to push his bike back to the pits.

After some hasty repairs, the Spaniard got back out on track - but it took until the final eight minutes before the double 2009 race winner broke into the top three. Simon then dropped back to seventh before returning to third place on his last lap.

Simon will start round nine 25 points clear of team-mate Sergio Gadea, who will start fourth on the grid, with Smith presently 30.5 points adrift.

2008 home winner Scott Redding will line-up eleventh on the grid for Blusens Aprilia.

Qualifying - Donington Park:

1. Smith (Aprilia) 1min 37.442sec
2. Marquez (KTM) +0.131sec
3. Simon (Aprilia) +0.307sec
4. Gadea (Aprilia) +0.407sec
5. Olive (Derbi) +0.432sec
6. Terol (Aprilia) +0.547sec
7. Espargaro (Derbi) +0.675sec
8. Cortese (Derbi) +0.925sec
9. Rabat (Aprilia) +0.925sec
10. Iannone (Aprilia) +1.042sec

11. Redding (Aprilia) +1.059sec
14. Webb (Aprilia) +1.128sec
30. Lodge (Honda) +4.129sec
31. Glossop (Honda) +4.336sec
34. Hastings (Honda) +5.031sec
35. Jordan (Honda) +5.951sec