In the Brno sunshine knocking on the 30-degree mark, Marc Marquez opened proceedings with a front end save while teammate Dani Pedrosa showed himself as the first pole contender, a fast lap putting him on top by nearly half a second. Another massive moment for the world champion slowed Marquez down on his next attack but the Spaniard tucked behind his teammate at the top of the standings.
The second run saw the situation reversed, third time lucky for Marquez – the world championship leader going fastest on his penultimate lap to grab his sixty-ninth career pole position and fourth expensive watch of the season.
Valentino Rossi eventually split the two Hondas to grab second position on the grid, only a tenth of a second keeping the Italian veteran away from pole. Pedrosa in third made it two Hondas sandwiching the Yamaha on the front row, the Spaniard putting himself in a good position to increase his impressive podium tally.
The second row will be opened by Andrea Dovizioso, the first Ducati over the line, almost half a second down on the poleman. Despite a suspected fractured vertebrae for Cal Crutchlow, the British rider kept the doctors away for long enough to take fifth on the grid. Behind the LCR rider, Jorge Lorenzo added another Ducati to the second row. The Spaniard looked good in third after the first run but his lap time was removed for track limit infringements, leaving Lorenzo without a time set. The Ducati man only needed one lap to make it back into sixth position.
Maverick Viñales’ troubles in the second sector meant that even with several red sectors in the final few laps, the Spaniard could not do better than seventh place. The factory Yamaha will share third row on the grid with the two Q1 survivors, Danilo Petrucci and Alvaro Bautista.
Johann Zarco continued to struggle down in tenth, ahead of late faller Aleix Espargaro and Loris Baz. Top Suzuki was Alex Rins, who missed out on Q2 by a painful six thousandths of a second and will start thirteenth. After nearly topping FP4, Jonas Folger did not make it out of Q1 and qualified fourteenth, the two sharing fifth row with Jack Miller.