A Honda took pole position for Sunday's Hertz British Grand Prix MotoGP contest on the historic Silverstone circuit but it was satellite team San Carlo Honda Gresini's Alvaro Bautista atop the time sheets, scoring his first premier-class pole position ahead of Yamaha Factory Racing's Ben Spies and Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner, both factory riders.
"This pole position hasn't happened by coincidence--it is the fruit of a lot of hard work from all the guys who have been giving 100 percent and sometimes a little more," Bautista said. "The conditions today were strange and difficult but we managed to find a good setting. I was up front for the whole session and set my fastest lap on my own," without any type of tow.
The common--and expected--rain showed up just five minutes before the end of qualifying and not one rider could top Bautista's 2:03.303 in the waning part of time trials.
Spies was just 0.105 seconds behind the Honda rider at 2:03.409 while reigning champion Stoner clocked in at 2:03.423.
Following his practice pace, American Spies worked with the "difficult conditions today again, like yesterday. It was the same for everybody and we tried to do our hardest," he said. "I'm happy for the team as they gave me a great bike and we set our best time with the hard rear tire. When I put the soft one on we were a couple of tenths up then I made a mistake and hit the curb," Spies explained.
Stoner was disappointed: "We began the session and struggled with the bike; we couldn't really get any edge grip and seemed to make the chatter worse," he said. While trying to fix problems he experienced in morning practice, "We ended up making them worse."
Jorge Lorenzo starts inside the second row on the second Yamaha Factory motorcycle (2:03.763), with the second Repsol Honda of Dani Pedrosa alongside (2:03.835) and Hector Barbera of Pramac Racing Team again the best Ducati at 2:03.876.
Nicky Hayden's Ducati, Andrea Dovizioso (Monster Tech3 Yamaha) and Stefan Bradl's LCR Honda share the third row with Valentino Rossi' Ducati completing the top 10. Aleix Espargaro turned the 11th best speed (2:06.283) to be best in the CRT class with his Power Electronics Aspar teammate Randy de Puniet alongside.