Whilst his two nearest qualifying challengers crashed, MotoGP title leader Jorge Lorenzo kept his Fiat Yamaha on two-wheels to claim his first pole position of the 2010 season at Silverstone on Saturday.
The sole factory Yamaha rider after team-mate Valentino Rossi broke a leg last time out in Italy, a superb end to the long Silverstone lap saw Lorenzo take pole from Honda riders Randy de Puniet and Dani Pedrosa with three minutes to go.
de Puniet and Pedrosa then both crashed on their final laps, confirming Lorenzo's tenth pole in MotoGP and the 36th of his career.
"I am so happy about this first pole of the season, but I'm even happier about the fact that I felt so good on my M1 this afternoon,” said Lorenzo, who starts round five 25-points in front of Mugello winner Pedrosa.
“It is really important to be on the front row for tomorrow because this gives us the best chance of another podium.
“Today we did 18 consecutive laps with the hard tyre and then another eight with the soft, which is a good sign, but the track was quite cold today and it took time for the tyres to reach the right temperature, so we have to wait and see how the weather is for our final choice.
“I feel comfortable and I'm really looking forward to tomorrow, although I hope it isn't going to rain,” he added.
"I've said before that it's sometimes better not to be on pole because then there's less pressure, but today we are on pole and we're really happy about it!” confessed team manager Wilco Zeelenberg.
“Jorge worked very hard in the first 13 or 14 laps, pushing hard to learn the track and understand the limits, and this paid off for him. de Puniet and Pedrosa were fast but they both crashed, but Jorge was fast and finished safely.
“There are of course no points for pole and we have to see what tomorrow brings but it's nice to have a rider who is fit and doing fast lap times and a bike that's consistent. We're hoping for another good race tomorrow."
Pedrosa was taken to the medical centre after hurting his legs, but is expected to race.