Beaten by title rival Dani Pedrosa throughout free practice, MotoGP championship leader Jorge Lorenzo struck back with a record-breaking pole time at Brno on Saturday - while Pedrosa's form was upset by a tumble.

Lap times were quick from the off - Lorenzo almost instantly posting his fastest lap of the weekend, then beating Valentino Rossi's 2009 pole record after just eleven minutes of the hour.

Most impressively, the time was set during a run of seven consecutive fast laps.

Moments later title rival Pedrosa fell from his Repsol Honda when he lost the front through Turn Nine, shortly after moving into second.

The Spaniard walked away unharmed and returned on his spare bike after 20-minutes. A dusty and struggling Pedrosa was then pushed all the way down to fifth, behind a quartet of Yamahas.

A late push saw Pedrosa salvage third place (+0.528s) and the final front row place on his very final lap.

By contrast Lorenzo remained on top for the whole hour, becoming the first ever rider to break the 1m 56s barrier with six minutes remaining to confirm his fourth pole of the season.

Lorenzo will start Sunday's race with an 18-point lead over Pedrosa.

Pedrosa's team-mate and reigning champion Casey Stoner has returned to Australia for surgery on his injured ankle, removing him from what is now an all-Spanish title battle.

Cal Crutchlow, confirmed as 2013 Tech 3 rider this morning, split Lorenzo and Pedrosa for much of the session - despite crashing just after the halfway stage.

The Englishman, familiar with Brno from World Superbike, returned to also dip under 1m 56s on his spare bike - securing second place (+0.196s) and his best ever MotoGP start.

Lorenzo's factory team-mate Ben Spies lost out on third place to Pedrosa by just 0.004s, with Crutchlow's team-mate Andrea Dovizioso making it four Yamahas in the top five.

Lone Factory Ducati rider Valentino Rossi will start from the outside of the second row in sixth, having been the final rider within one second of former and future team-mate Lorenzo.

Honda LCR rookie Stefan Bradl was less than a tenth of a second behind in seventh, with fellow satellite RCV rider Alvaro Bautista eighth and home rider Karel Abraham ninth despite a heavy late fall from his Cardion AB Ducati.

Randy de Puniet was the top CRT rider in tenth place, 2.045s from Pedrosa and 0.309s ahead of Aspar ART team-mate Aleix Espargaro.

Qualifying:
1. Jorge Lorenzo
2. Cal Crutchlow
3. Dani Pedrosa
4. Ben Spies
5. Andrea Dovizioso
6. Valentino Rossi
7. Stefan Bradl
8. Alvaro Bautista
9. Karel Abraham
10. Randy De Puniet
11. Aleix Espargaro
12. Yonny Hernandez
13. Toni Elias
14. Michele Pirro
15. Colin Edwards
16. Mattia Pasini
17. James Ellison
18. Ivan Silva
19. Danilo Petrucci