Sam Lowes was denied pole on home soil by a mere 0.081s during qualifying for the BritishGP as Marco Bezzecchi set a new all-time Silverstone record in the dying seconds.
The Brit secured his place on the front row of Sunday’s grid, in third, with Jorge Navarro splitting the pair in second at the flag.
Moto2 qualifying began with the news that Lorenzo Dalla Porta was being withdrawn from the weekend due to a broken shoulder. Stefano Manzi leading the way in the times as the session unfolded.
Indemitsu’s Ai Ogura and Somkiat Chantra sat second and third at the halfway stage with Xavi Vierge and Cameron Beaubier battling for the final promotion spot - just 0.006s displacing the American with five-minutes to go.
The closing seconds provided little change to the standings, Hafizh Syahrin, still in obvious pain returned to the pits from 10th while late improvements saw Celestino Vietti and Albert Arenas rise to seventh and ninth respectively.
The final qualifying spectacle started with Sam Lowes at the top, thanks to a 2’04.790, the Brit immediately set about bettering as Remy Gardner challenged for position. Raul Fernandez joined his KTM teammate at the top before Lowes completed his second lap, returning to the lead half-a-second clear with a 2’04.069 and a new all-time lap record.
Fabio Di Giannantonio slotted into second, three-tenths back before Gardner outpaced him, edging closer to the Marc VDS out front. Augusto Fernandez joined his namesake in the top-five with Aron Canet narrowly behind in sixth. Marco Bezzecchi demoting the Aspar rider with his fifth lap and three-minutes left to play.
Jorge Navarro left it late to set a time, due to track limits infringements, but the Speed Up rider came through to third in the penultimate minute before immediately setting about a second attempt.
Heartbreak for the British fans saw both Bezzecchi and Navarro dump Lowes down to third in the dying seconds. The Sky VR46 rider claiming the pole and the lap record with a 2’03.988.
Lowes concluded the front row ahead of KTM’s Gardner and Fernandez, Di Giannantonio completing row two from the second Marc VDS, Canet and Vierge. Roberts sat 10th with Nicolò Bulega and Manzi for company, Bo Bendsneyder, Ogura, Marcel Schrotter, Fermín Aldeguer, Ton Luthi and Chantra rounding out the top-18.