MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo took a remarkable pole position for the US Grand Prix, just hours after suffering this huge highside at the end of morning practice.
The Spaniard was caught out when he performed a practice start, after the end of the session.
The Yamaha's launch control overrides its traction control system, until a downshift is made - but Lorenzo didn't downshift for the following turn and was then thrown over the handlebars when he accelerated his TC-less bike on the exit.
Left in visible pain and holding his right leg after literally bouncing off the asphalt, Lorenzo eventually limped out of the gravel and headed for the medical centre, where no serious injuries were found.
Despite the set-back, Lorenzo came out fighting in qualifying, being fast from the start of the hour and on pole for all but three minutes - when team-mate Ben Spies briefly moved ahead.
Lorenzo went on to secure his second pole of the season by 0.072sec from Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner, whom Lorenzo trails by 15 points in the world championship heading into Sunday's tenth round.
“This pole position was unexpected for us after this morning, but thankfully I feel more pain walking than I do riding the bike," said Lorenzo. "Of course I'm not in perfect condition on the bike and for sure I have to put more pressure on my arms and will get more tired. I think I was very lucky this morning that I had no big injuries. I think this pole position is for us an impressive result.”
“I'm a very happy team manager today! We had an unbelievable qualifying session," said Wilco Zeelenberg. "After the crash nobody really thought about having pole but just seeing how we are for tomorrow's race.
"His second lap was a 21.9, I thank that was a thank you to his mechanics because he used the bike that he crashed with this morning. It was pretty smashed up after the crash so they worked hard to make it ready. I think the consistent lap times show he is ready to rock and roll tomorrow.”
Dani Pedrosa will complete the front row in third, with Spies dropping to fourth after a late crash.