250cc World Championship leader Hiroshi Aoyama took his first pole of the 2009 season by just 0.008sec in qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix at Misano.
The Scot Honda rider, who starts round twelve 16 points ahead of Alvaro Bautista, edged out Friday pace setter Hector Barbera (Pepe World Aprilia) by just 0.008sec in the closing stages of the session.
Reigning world champion Marco Simoncelli will start from third for Metis Gilera with Mattia Pasini, winner of the first Italian-based round of the season at Mugello, completing the front row for Toth Aprilia.
Aspar Aprilia star Bautista struggled badly, lapping almost one-second slower than Aoyama for eighth on the grid.
Qualifying - Misano:
1. Aoyama (Honda) 1min 38.867sec
2. Barbera (Aprilia) +0.008sec
3. Simoncelli (Gilera) +0.171sec
4. Pasini (Aprilia) +0.201sec
5. di Meglio (Aprilia) +0.530sec
6. Debon (Aprilia) +0.549sec
7. Faubel (Honda) +0.735sec
8. Bautista (Aprilia) +0.958sec
9. Locatelli (Gilera) +1.048sec
10. Wilairot (Honda) +1.102sec
24. Markham (Aprilia) +5.052sec