(Reuters) – The MotoGP championship resumed after the mid-season break with world champion Marc Marquez taking pole position at the Czech Grand Prix for the third time in four years.
On a dry Brno circuit, Spaniard Marquez recorded a time of one minute 54 seconds to grab pole position for a second consecutive race, with veteran Italian Valentino Rossi qualifying in second place.
Marquez’s Honda Repsol team mate Dani Pedrosa finished third, followed by Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso and last year’s winner Cal Crutchlow rounding out the top five.
Marquez is on course to defend his world title, leading the standings on 129 points, five points ahead of second-placed Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha) and six ahead of Dovizisio.
Vinales’ Yamaha team mate Rossi is fourth with 119 points.
(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)