MotoGP arrives in Britain riding a wave of British success, after John McPhee won the Moto3 race in Brno, closely followed by Cal Crutchlow in MotoGP, with Sam Lowes putting in a podium performance in between in Moto2.
The talk in the paddock soon shifted to the weather, which took hold, drenching the circuit and controlling qualifying. Pecco Bagnaia impressed in his ability to wet weather run for pole in Moto3,with a late run from Lowes also seeing him occupy the top spot on the grid in Moto2.
The rain had already settled in by the time Moto3 took to track, so it was left to whoever managed the weather best to have a shot at pole.
Francesco Bagnaia had the right stuff and looked confident as he gave Aspar Mahindra pole, a first for the Italian rider.
He is joined on the front row by Honda Gresini’s Enea Bastianini and Bo Bendsneyder, though the Red Bull KT Ajo will not keep the position as he has earned a five place grid penalty for slow riding.
His position will be inherited by Niccolo Antonelli, as the Ongetta-Rivacold rider did enough of the day for fourth.
Brad Binder leads the championship and settled for the fifth best time on a tough day, the Red Bull rider can take heart from the fact his nearest title rival Jorge Navarro could only manage 18th after a fall.
Joan Mir will line up next to the South African on the grid for Leopard, with Jules Danilo seventh on the second Ongetta entry.
Jorge Martin (Pull & Bear Aspar Mahindra Team) in eighth held of Sky Racing VR46 rider Nicolo Bulega on time and on track, after the young Italian nearly took him out as he crashed.
Brno winner John McPhee was also among the many crashers, leaving the Peugeot MC SaxoPrint man in 17th.
The rain was at its worst as Moto2 got underway and the riders all took a few laps to get their confidence to push hard on the slippery track.
The session had several leaders, but it was a final battle for times between reigning champion and title leader Johann Zarco and Lowes which brought times tumbling as the session closed.
The Gresini rider took pole in his home grand prix as Zarco uncharacteristically fell from his Ajo Motorsport machine, leaving him second.
The final front row spot went to Dynavolt Intact GP rider Jonas Folger, our Brno Moto2 winner in the wet.
Alex Marquez dominated the timesheets for a long spell for Estrella Galicia Marc VDS before a fall put paid to his progress, leaving him to watch, though he only dropped to fourth.
Hafizh Syahrin looked pleased to have lived up to his wet weather reputation in fifth for Petronas Raceline Malaysia. Franco Morbidelli set the sixth best time on the second Marc VDS bike.
Isaac Vinales enjoyed his best qualifying since joining Moto2 with seventh on the grid for Tech 3. He is joined on row three by Forward’s Lorenzo Baldassarri and Speed Up rider Simone Corsi.
Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) recovered for tenth but was one of many fallers as the wet track continued to claim victim after victim.
Danny Kent looked to be making headway at his home race but faded to twelfth for Leopard Racing.
For the full Moto3 result click here.
For the full Moto2 result click here.