Jorge Lorenzo thought he had done enough to nab pole position at the British MotoGP. But that was before rookie Marc Marquez's final qualifying lap.
Marquez is the hottest racer on the circuit and put himself in a good position to claim a fifth straight race when he edged the reigning world champion Saturday in a sizzling session.
They took turns breaking Casey Stoner's 2011 qualifying lap record and it was Marquez who came out on top at Silverstone.
Honda's Marquez clocked a time of two minutes, 691 seconds, which was just over one-tenth quicker than Yamaha's Lorenzo. Lorenzo's teammate, Britain's Cal Crutchlow, finished third on home soil despite crashing twice earlier Saturday in practice and damaging his arms.
"If I'm honest, I didn't expect that lap time," Marquez told MotoGP's official website.
Marquez became the first rookie to win five races in a season in motorcycling's elite class when he conquered the Czech Grand Prix on Sunday.
Lorenzo, meanwhile, sits a distant 44 points behind his fellow Spaniard following a season blighted by a shoulder injury.
"I thought I had pole position but when I saw the classification I again saw that Marc was in front of me, so I was a bit disappointed because I had done one of the best laps of my whole career," Lorenzo told MotoGP's official website.
"I tried my best but again it wasn't possible. Anyway, it is only qualifying, so second place is a good position and the important thing is tomorrow. It is going to be a long race, so let's hope to have good pace to fight for victory."
Marquez's teammate Dani Pedrosa, also hampered by injuries this season, came fifth in qualifying, one spot better than motorcycling icon Valentino Rossi.
Pedrosa is Marquez's closest rival in the standings, 26 points adrift. He has never won the MotoGP title, settling for second three times.