MotoGP championship leader Marc Marquez struck a psychological blow over Jorge Lorenzo as the pair slogged it out during an electric final qualifying session at Silverstone.
Marquez refused to lie down as he fought an enthralling battle with the reigning champion, blitzing Casey Stoner's 2011 pole record by 1.329 seconds to nail down pole as he bids for a fifth straight premier class win in the British MotoGP tomorrow.
The young pretender's stunning lap of 2m 00.691s gave him the upper hand by 0.128s over Lorenzo, earning Marquez his ninth front row start in his debut season in the series.
“I am very happy with pole position and this one carries even more value as we set a new record!” said Marquez. “The lap times were very fast, we managed an incredible lap and Jorge set the bar very high for us. We put in a better hot lap than I had expected; I hadn't anticipated riding so fast!
“The race will be tough tomorrow and we will have to remain very focused, because I think that Jorge is the strongest rival that we have here,” he added.
“I know Jorge pushes a lot in the first few laps. So first target is to do a good start but if I do not feel good to push, I will not push. You need to warm the tyres well and try to feel confident with the bike first. Jorge was very fast at the start in Brno but this is a different track so we will see.”
In terms of rear tyre choice, Marquez expects some real variety for the first time this year: “It will be interesting. Normally every rider uses the softer option but tomorrow I think you will see some difference. Still we don't know which to use.
“It's nice to ride here. You can have some big slides here and the last corner is incredible. The wind is a little bit tricky and there are many bumps, but I enjoy it a lot.”
Marquez holds a 44-point lead over Lorenzo, who is third in the standings behind Dani Pedrosa.