The young Spaniard used a late flyer (1’47.804) to claim his third successive pole, crushing Casey Stoner’s previous lap record set in 2011 (1’49.046).
Lorenzo tried to take the fight back to Marquez in the closing moments of Q2 but with his Yamaha M1 lacking high-end speed down the long straight in the final sector, he was unable to do so and will start second.
Defending race winner Dani Pedrosa will look to repeat last year’s performance from third on the grid. Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi starts fourth with Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista joining him on the second row.
Yamaha Tech 3′s Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith qualified seventh and eighth, respectively. Smith was forced to compete in Q1 after struggling in practice, but managed to advance into Q2 alongside Pramac Ducati’s Andrea Iannone.
American rider Nicky Hayden suffered a disappointing qualifying result and will start 11th on the grid.