Marquez, winner of the French Grand Prix, took his first pole position in the intermediate class in an action packed session that saw Axel Pons crash heavily in the final minutes that made it impossible for anyone to challenge the pole position time.
Redding has clearly put his difficult start to the season behind him and is now looking to recapture the form that saw him enter the year as a firm favourite in the title chase. The Englishman will be a dangerous competitor to Marquez tomorrow and should be able to challenge for his first victory since the 2008 British GP at Donington.
Championship leader Stefan Bradl set the third fastest time and unless rain interrupts the race the German should be in a good position to race at the front. Bradl, who took pole at each race in 2011 before this weekend, set consistent times and while he has not had the outright pace of Marquez his race craft should allow him to keep with the leaders in the ultra competitive Moto2 class.
The session, filled with incidents and accidents, opened in bizarre fashion when Bradley Smith drove the wrong way down the pitlane after his bike had a mechanical issue as he accelerated from the pits. The Englishman,set the 28th fastest time, but showed some of the issues that the “one bike” rule has brought to the smaller classes. With no spare bike, and no chance of completing the 6km track, Smith made a split second decision that if he got back to the pits he could get his bike repaired and still have a competitive session. It remains to be seen what punishment is handed out to Smith but there seems little chance that he will keep his qualifying time.