Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat beat his own best as the lap times tumbled in a hectic battle to take pole position for the Moto2 Czech Grand Prix, his seventh of the season.

The Kalex man lead into the closing stages but refused to rest on his laurels and took to the track to finish with a 2m 01.911 to guarantee the top spot on the grid.

Making a welcome return to the front row was Interwetten Paddock's Tom Luthi, making the most of his recently upgraded Suter chassis at a track where he has a strong history having been on the podium for the last two seasons and a Brno winner back in his 125cc title winning year.

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The Swiss rider challenged hard, eventually being forced to settle for second.

The final spot on the front row goes to Sandro Cortese who impressed with a series of quick laps and improved to second on his penultimate flyer before being pushed back to third for Dynavolt Intact GP.

Some track knowledge helped Sam Lowes up to a fourth place start having already lapped around the Czech track in World Supersport. The British star is the highest qualifying of the Speed Up riders by a huge margin - Ant West is next best in 28th.

Fifth on the grid was secured by another consistent performance from NGM Forward Racing rider Simone Corsi.

Mika Kallio, winner of the last race in Indianapolis, held on to sixth despite a late off during a final push for pole for Marc VDS.

Technomag carXpert's Dominique Aegerter sits in seventh ahead on row three. The Swiss rider is joined by Tech 3's Marcel Schrotter who was eighth quickest and fellow German Jonas Folger who starts ninth for AGR.

Franco Morbidelli's late fast lap saw him squeeze inside the top ten for the Italtrans with all the top ten qualifiers within a second of Rabat's top time.

The Paginas Amarillas bikes had a tough time with Luis Salom the best of the rookie pair in 14th. Maverick Vinales did a lot of head shaking on his way to 17th.

Last season's pole sitter Taka Nakagami starts 22nd for Idemitsu Honda Team Asia.

AGT REA Racing's British rider Gino Rea starts 27th.

Wild-card Lucas Mahias hit the gravel after falling from his Promoto Sport Transfiormers machine. He starts 23rd and ahead of fellow wild-card Miroslav Popov who saved a fall from his Montaze Broz Racing Team but remained down in 35th.