(Reuters) – Honda’s MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez took a tire gamble in drying conditions and equaled Australian Mick Doohan’s record of 58 top class pole positions at the Czech Grand Prix in Brno on Saturday.
The Spaniard, on slick tires after earlier rain, lapped with a best time of two minutes 02.753 seconds — 2.524 quicker than Australian Jack Miller who qualified second for the non-works Pramac Ducati team.
Miller crashed at the wet and slippery final turn after his quickest effort.
Marquez’s hefty pole margin was the biggest of the five times world champion’s MotoGP career so far.
French rider Johann Zarco, who came through first qualifying and unlike others stayed on wet tires throughout the main session, took his KTM team’s first front row slot in third place.
Marquez has a 58 point lead over Ducati’s Italian Andrea Dovizioso, who will start fourth, in the standings.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris)