Moto2 World championship leader Stefan Bradl kept his perfect 2011 qualifying run intact with his fifth pole of the season at Catalunya on Saturday.

The Viessmann Kiefer Racing Kalex rider held the upper hand for most of the 40-minutes, with his pole lap coming on the 16th of his 18 circulations.

Home star Aleix Espargaro (Pons Kalex) proved Bradl's closest opponent, finishing 0.114sec from the German for his best qualifying of the season, with Yuki Takahashi grabbing the final front row start for Gresini Moriwaki in the final minute.

That pushed Interwetten Suter's Thomas Luthi to the head of row two, with Moto2 rookie and Le Mans winner Marc Marquez qualifying his Repsol Suter in fifth.

Bradley Smith crashed through the fast final turn during the middle stages, while holding third place for Tech 3, the Englishman raising his hands to indicate something had surprised him. Smith will start sixth on Sunday.

Jerez winner Andrea Iannone suffered a more costly accident, being thrown from his bucking Suter during an out-lap highside. With no spare bike the Italian had to wait for his bike to be returned and repaired. Iannone returned to the track with just five minutes to go and qualified 22nd.

Julian Simon, 28 points behind Bradl in the championship, will start from eighth place for the Aspar team.

Qualifying - Catalunya:

1. Bradl (Kalex) 1m 46.753s
2. A. Espargaro (Pons Kalex) +0.114s
3. Takahashi (Moriwaki) +0.225s
4. Luthi (Suter) +0.315s
5. Marquez (Suter) +0.401s
6. Smith (Tech 3) +0.454s
7. Kallio (Suter) +0.473s
8. Simon (Suter) +0.602s
9. Rabat (FTR) +0.673s
10. Cluzel (Suter) +0.703s

11. Redding (Suter) +0.774s
12. Coghlan (FTR) +1.878s