Dani Pedrosa stole home pole glory from countryman Jorge Lorenzo by 0.285sec during qualifying for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.
Hampered by handling problems in winter testing and then the opening round at Qatar, where he finished just seventh, Pedrosa was keen to play down his pole and insisted that the 'shaking' problems with his Repsol Honda remain.
Fiat Yamaha rider Lorenzo set a quicker lap time than Pedrosa's pole during Saturday morning practice, but was unable to repeat it in the warmer afternoon conditions and will line-up between arch-rival Pedrosa and Ducati's Casey Stoner.
Stoner, like Pedrosa, still feels there is much work to be done with his set-up - which he feels hasn't progressed since he topped the Friday practice charts.
Injured reigning seven time MotoGP champion and Qatar winner Valentino Rossi claimed a late fourth, to head row two, which bumped Stoner's team-mate Nicky Hayden to fifth.
Hayden suffered a fast fall this morning, but was back up to front-running pace by the closing stages of the qualifying hour.
Competing row two on Sunday will be top satellite rider Randy de Puniet, who put his LCR Honda within 0.389sec of Pedrosa's factory machine.
Colin Edwards got the better of rookie Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Ben Spies at the end of the hour to secure a seventh place start, with Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) and Marco Melandri (Gresini Honda) rounding out the top ten behind Spies.
Loris Capirossi's Suzuki was almost exactly one-second behind Pedrosa, but that was only good enough eleventh at the end of a session that at one stage saw all 17 riders covered by 1.1sec!
Last on Friday, Hiroshi Aoyama climbed forward to twelfth - and the second best rookie after Spies - on his Interwetten Honda, with Spanish rookies Alvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki), Hector Barbera (Aspar Ducati) and Aleix Espargaro (Pramac Ducati) lining up behind him for their first home MotoGP start.
Two disappointed riders are sure to be Gresini Honda's Marco Simoncelli in 16th and Pramac's Mike Kallio in 17th and last, although the Finn was only 1.6sec from pole.
6. de Puniet