Jorge Lorenzo silenced the Italian Grand Prix fans by snatching pole position away from two Italian riders and one Italian bike during Saturday's qualifying session at Mugello.
Prior to qualifying, Casey Stoner had set the fastest lap of the weekend with a 1min 49.323sec, despite a lowside fall, in Saturday morning practice - but Valentino Rossi, second in FP1 and third in FP2, took just seven minutes to break into the 1min 49s this afternoon.
The Fiat Yamaha superstar - chasing an incredible eighth home victory in a row this weekend - kept up his momentum by constantly lowering his best lap time, allowing the Italian to lead an M1 one-two-three, ahead of team-mate Lorenzo and Tech 3's Colin Edwards, as the halfway mark came and went.
Rossi's reign was finally interrupted by Stoner, with 17 minutes to go, when the Ducati star cut 0.073sec under the #46. Stoner gained his advantage in the final part of the track and Rossi's initial attempts to regain pole fell short through that same sector.
That all changed with eight minutes remaining when Rossi set the fastest lap of the weekend to wrestle pole away from Stoner by 0.143sec, much to the delight of the yellow fans lining the hillsides.
A lull in the action followed before the pole contenders returned for their final attack, which began with a shock when Loris Capirossi snatched pole from countryman Rossi by 0.027sec.
Capirossi's Suzuki was still on pole as the final minute began, but Lorenzo lunged 0.134sec under with just seconds remaining. Stoner, who will once again carry Ducati's hopes of a first home Mugello victory on Sunday, then slotted into second place on his last lap.
That left Rossi off the front row and the local hero failed to improve on his last lap, leaving him to start from fourth position on Sunday.
The local fans fell silent while a small group of Lorenzo supporters were seen jumping in delight as the MotoGP World Championship leader, presently one point ahead of Rossi and Stoner, celebrated his second pole of the season.