Ryuichi Kiyonari pulled it out the bag to secure pole position for the fifth round of the MCE British Superbike Championship at Mallory Park, ahead of pre-qualifying favourite Michael Laverty.
The Japanese rider had maintaining a good, if not front running, pace during free practice but lifted himself to the fore late on to edge out Laverty by almost three-tenths of a second.
Having topped two of the three practice sessions, Laverty had looked well on course for his and Relentless by TAS Suzuki's first-ever BSB pole position as he paced Q1 and Q2, but – like two years ago at Mallory Park – would have to settle fro second.
A herculean effort by the Worx Crescent Suzuki team can be credited for Tommy Hill's third place after the series leader crashed in Q1. Returning to the track in Q2 with just minutes to spare, Hill made it through to the shootout to secure a good spot on the front row.
The ever-consistent Michael Rutter starts fourth on the Ridersmotorcycles.com Ducati, the veteran looking for the kind of form that made him a surprise winner at the circuit two years ago – his last BSB win.
Hill's closest championship challenger, Josh Brookes, heads up row two in fifth, ahead of surprise packages Andrew Pitt and Karl Harris, the pair qualifying a remarkable sixth and seventh on their respective debut in and return to BSB.
Dan Linfoot completed Motorpoint Yamaha's best qualifying day in eighth, ahead of Chris Walker who, like Harris, was another rider to do wonders on ageing machinery.
Despite qualifying tenth on paper, Alastair Seeley will start 14th after being penalised for exiting the pit lane under a red light during FP3. As such, Yukio Kagayama – who joined his team-mate in falling during Q1 – gets promoted up a spot.
Elsewhere, there was big disappointment for Swan Honda, with Stuart Easton qualifying down in 14th (13th when Seeley's penalty is taken into consideration) while James Ellison's steady recovery from injury could only see him get as high as 15th. John Laverty, meanwhile, will start 20th after crashing during SP2.
In the Evo category, Hudson Kennaugh secure pole position with 21st overall, one position ahead of closest championship rival Steve Brogan.