|Jorge Lorenzo has won the last three races and is 52 points clear of second place Pedrosa [Reuters]
Yamaha's MotoGP leader Jorge Lorenzo took pole position at the German Grand Prix on Saturday while world champion team mate Valentino Rossi qualified fifth on his return six weeks after breaking his leg.
Lorenzo's pole was the Spaniard's fourth in a row and he did it with his back-up bike after the machine he started on blew an engine and caught fire, laying a trail of oil down the Sachsenring straight.
American Ben Spies and France's Randy De Puniet both skidded on the oil at speeds in excess of 250kph, their crashes at turn one forcing the session to be red flagged with 25 minutes remaining as marshals cleared up the mess.
De Puniet, grimacing in obvious pain, was taken off the track on a stretcher but hitched a ride back to the LCR Honda garages on the back of a scooter.
Later X-rays at the mobile clinic revealed no break.
Rossi, the MotoGP showman battling back well ahead of schedule after breaking his leg last month in his home Italian Grand Prix, avoided the mayhem and will line up on the second row to the delight of his fans.
Lorenzo secured the top slot with a lap of one minute 21.817 seconds at the Sachsenring, with Australian Casey Stoner second in 1:21.841.
Spaniard Dani Pedrosa completed the front row on a Honda.
Lorenzo has won the last three races and is 52 points clear of Pedrosa.
Rossi has fallen to seventh overall after missing four races.