Alvaro Bautista will chase his second victory of the season from his second pole position of the year, after setting the pace in 250cc qualifying for the French Grand Prix at Le Mans.
The Aspar Aprilia rider took pole from reigning world champion Marco Simoncelli with two minutes to go, with the Spaniard's eventual advantage a confident 0.382sec over the Gilera star.
World championship leader Hiroshi Aoyama will start third for Scot Honda, with Swiss rider Thomas Luthi competing the front row for Emmi-Caffe Latte Aprilia.
Home star Mike di Meglio held pole heading into the closing stages but will start from the head of row two, in fifth, on his Aspar machine.
Qualifying - Le Mans:
1. Bautista (Aprilia) 1min 38.270
2. Simoncelli (Gilera) +0.382sec
3. Aoyama (Honda) +0.412sec
4. Luthi (Aprilia) +0.516sec
5. di Meglio (Aprilia) +0.733sec
6. Debon (Aprilia) +1.095sec
7. de Rosa (Honda) +1.097sec
8. Pesek (Aprilia) +1.111sec
9. Locatelli (Gilera) +1.241sec
10. Faubel (Honda) +1.247sec