Jorge Lorenzo handed Yamaha its eleventh pole position of the 2009 MotoGP season at Estoril on Saturday - thereby breaking the factory's previous best haul of ten premier-class poles, achieved in both 1978 and 1988.
Six of those 2009 poles have fallen to Lorenzo's Fiat Yamaha team-mate and title leader Valentino Rossi, but the young Spaniard overcame the Italian by 0.260sec to claim his ninth career pole, fifth of the year and first since Laguna Seca in early July.
Lorenzo's only MotoGP victory from pole came at Estoril last season, when he won his first ever MotoGP race in only his third start. Lorenzo, a triple 2009 race winner, will begin Sunday's event 30 points behind reigning six-time MotoGP champion Rossi.
If any Yamaha rider finishes on the podium on Sunday the factory will have won the 2009 MotoGP Constructors' title with three races still to go.
Joining the two factory M1 riders on the front row of the grid will be the returning Casey Stoner, who was a pole contender from the start of the hour as he mercilessly pushed his Desmosedici to the limit.
The Australian, who has slipped to fourth in the championship after missing the last three rounds to seek a cure for fatigue problems, lapped just 0.314sec slower than Lorenzo - despite a problem with the softer compound Bridgestone tyres.
Stoner's front row came at the expense of Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa, who had been on the MotoGP front row at the previous four rounds but lost out to Stoner by 0.174sec on Saturday. Pedrosa is just seven points in front of Stoner in the championship.
Colin Edwards confirmed his position as best of the rest with his fourth fifth-place start in a row for the satellite Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team. The Texan was the last rider within one second of Lorenzo and a safe 0.306sec in front of LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet - back on form after using the four-week break since Misano to allow his ankle fracture to heal.
After a poor first day, Loris Capirossi and Suzuki claimed a commendable seventh on the grid, ahead of Pedrosa's factory Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, Stoner's team-mate Nicky Hayden and Pramac Ducati's Mika Kallio.
A difficult session for San Carlo Honda Gresini saw Alex de Angelis (11th) and Toni Elias (13th) either side of Tech 3's James Toseland, with Pramac's Niccolo Canepa slipping to 14th after holding seventh with 19 minutes to go.
A sore Chris Vermeulen was 15th on the second Suzuki with Hayate's Marco Melandri - 17th and slowest in both free practice sessions - at least beating rookie Gabor Talmacsi (Scot Honda).
6. de Puniet
11. de Angelis