Beautiful sunshine with harmless clouds welcomed the premier class riders for their qualifying session and they repayed the weather gods with some stellar performances.
Marc Marquez might have been on the floor twice on Friday and almost down in turn eight on his first run but in typical Marquez fashion, the Spaniard put on the soft rear tyre and fired in a pole record time on his very first lap. A 1:59 time was the next challenge set for the second run and tantalizingly close, the world champion making quick work of it on the first lap of his next outing. The Honda man broke his own pole time record at the circuit to start the British Grand Prix in prime position.
Valentino Rossi was very close to snatching the headlines away from his arch-enemy but the Italian still scored an impressive second position on the grid, getting as close as two hundredths of a second of a 1:59 time of his own.
Not quite the pole of last year but, as his compatriots have learned to do over the years, Cal Crutchlow also made every sunny minute count and is set to start in elite company from the front row of the grid.
Four tenths down on the poleman, Maverick Viñales will keep a close eye on Marquez from fourth spot. Jorge Lorenzo was the first Ducati on the second row of the grid, with teammate Andrea Dovizioso saving a poor first run with a sixth position at the flag.
Dani Pedrosa gave himself a lot of work on Saturday afternoon, having to get through Q1 after struggling all throughout practice. The Spaniard saved his day with a seventh grid position, joined on the third row by Johann Zarco and Aleix Espargaro.
Jonas Folger was the other Q1 survivor, the German showing good speed after recovering from illness, but could only do tenth on the grid the second time around. Pol Espargaro was trying to keep up with the poleman when he crashed his KTM and had to settle for eleventh, on the fourth row, ahead of home boy Scott Redding.
Alex Rins looked to have learned a few things following Marquez around in FP4 and was only a tenth away from Q2, the Spaniard eventually ending up thirteenth. Danilo Petrucci learned from Marquez too and crashed in turn twelve, before even posting a lap in Q1. The Italian could not do any better than eighteenth on his second run, behind the likes of Alvaro Bautista and Andrea Iannone but giving us a fair few battles to expect lower down the grid.