Jorge Lorenzo became the first ever rider to lap Brno in under 1m 55s as the Yamaha star swept to MotoGP pole position in the Czech Republic.

Honda's Marc Marquez slashed Lorenzo's advantage to 0.074s on his final lap, while title leader Valentino Rossi claimed only his second front row of the year with a time 0.364s behind his team-mate.

Lorenzo took his dominant practice form straight into the Qualifying 2 shootout, heading the timesheets from the fifth minute onwards. The #99 was 0.3s clear of Marquez when he pitted for a new medium rear tyre, after which he leapt 0.5s clear with the stunning 1m 54.989s.

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Marquez, winner of the last two races, briefly lost second before delivering his best time on the penultimate lap. Rossi - slightly out of sync after opting to scrub in a new front tyre at the start of Q2 - left it even later, being the only rider to improve on his final lap as he jumped from fifth to third and an elusive front row start.

Rossi's only previous 2015 front row was his pole position at Assen.

Row two will see factory Ducati riders Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso start either side of top satellite rider Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Yamaha), who momentarily held second in the closing stages.

Smith's best was 0.471s from pole but 0.475s faster than Dovizioso.

Suzuki rookie Maverick Vinales, Pol Espargaro (Tech 3) and a sore Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) will form row three, having been the final riders within one-second of Lorenzo.

Cal Crutchlow, who like Pol Espargaro was forced to take part in the Qualifying 1 session, will start tenth for LCR Honda. Top Open rider Hector Barbera claimed eleventh for Avintia Ducati ahead of the Pramac Desmosedici of Yonny Hernandez.

The Ducati, Suzuki and Open riders have a softer rear tyre allocation than the factory class Hondas and Yamahas, useful in qualifying but sometimes a disadvantage in the race.

Rossi starts Sunday's race with a nine-point advantage over Lorenzo and 56-point lead over Marquez.

Weather forecasts warn that the hot and dry conditions could be replaced by rain at around the 2pm start time on Sunday.

QP:
1 Jorge Lorenzo
2 Marc Marquez
3 Valentino Rossi
4 Andrea Iannone
5 Bradley Smith
6 Andrea Dovizioso
7 Maverick Vi?ales
8 Pol Espargaro
9 Dani Pedrosa
10 Cal Crutchlow
11 Hector Barbera
12 Yonny Hernandez