Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo destroyed the Silverstone lap record as they slugged it out for British MotoGP pole position, which finally went in favour of the rookie title leader by 0.128s

Yamaha's reigning champion Lorenzo threw the first punch, setting the fastest ever two-wheel lap of the present Silverstone figuration on his opening lap.

Marquez immediately struck back for Repsol Honda, despite a big moment through the fast Woodcote final turn, before Lorenzo responded to end the first run back on top.

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After pitting for a tyre change, Lorenzo looked like he may have done enough when he bit a 0.398s chunk from Marquez's time.

But the 20-year-old Moto2 champion wasn't finished and dipped 0.128s under Lorenzo's best, despite another sideways moment, to settle pole and smash predecessor Casey Stoner's pole record by 1.329s.

Marquez, winner of the past four races, starts this weekend with a 26-point title lead over team-mate Dani Pedrosa and a 44-point advantage over Lorenzo.

The Spaniards pushed themselves 0.6s clear of home hero Cal Crutchlow, who recovered admirably from his morning misery - in the form of two heavy accidents - to claim a popular final place on the front row for Monster Yamaha Tech 3.

Pedrosa could only manage a fifth place start after lapping 0.9s behind Marquez, putting him behind LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl and just ahead of Lorenzo's team-mate Valentino Rossi.

Andrea Dovizioso was just 0.014s behind his fellow Italian to take seventh place for Ducati, with Alvaro Bautista unable to repeat last year's pole heroics in eighth and Nicky Hayden in ninth.

Home rookie Bradley Smith (Tech 3) and top CRT rider Colin Edwards (Forward Racing) completed the eleven riders on track, both having graduated through the Q1 session, while with Aleix Espargaro (Aspar) missed the session due to hand injuries from free practice.

Espargaro's team-mate Randy de Puniet led the list of those not making the Q2 cut, with Ulsterman Michael Laverty 19th out of the 23 riders during his first Silverstone MotoGP qualifying session for the British-based PBM team.

Qualifying 2:
1. Marc Marquez
2. Jorge Lorenzo
3. Cal Crutchlow
4. Stefan Bradl
5. Dani Pedrosa
6. Valentino Rossi
7. Andrea Dovizioso
8. Alvaro Bautista
9. Nicky Hayden
10. Bradley Smith
11. Colin Edwards
12. Aleix Espargaro