Stefan Bradl has taken his first grand prix pole position (and the first for the Kalex chassis) after resisting the determined efforts of Moto2 star rookie Marc Marquez during qualifying in Qatar on Saturday night.
Bradl, winner of last year's Portuguese Grand Prix with a Suter motorcycle, exchanged provisional pole several times with reigning 125cc world champion Marquez, before eventually emerging 0.207sec in front of the young Catalunya Caixa Repsol (Suter) rider.
Completing the new three-rider front row format was Thomas Luthi, although the Interwetten Suter rider was over 0.8sec behind Bradl.
Heading row two will be new Gresini Moriwaki signing Yuki Takahashi, with Forward Suter's Jules Cluzel and 2010 title runner-up Julian Simon (Aspar Suter) starting alongside him.
An excellent performance by rookie Bradley Smith saw the Englishman qualify his Tech 3 motorcycle in seventh position, having been as high as fourth in the final ten minutes. Team-mate Mike di Meglio was 19th.
Due to the four-night format, the Moto2 warm-up will controversially be held later tonight, with the race on Sunday.
Qualifying - Qatar:
1. Bradl (Kalex) 2m 0.168s
2. Marquez (Suter) 0.207s
3. Luthi (Suter) +0.828s
4. Takahashi (Moriwaki) +1.011s
5. Cluzel (Suter) +1.240s
6. Simon (Suter) +1.262s
7. Smith (Tech 3) +1.274s
8. de Angelis (MotoBI) +1.297s
9. Pirro (Moriwaki) +1.311s
10. Redding (Suter) +1.396s
33. Coghlan (FTR) +3.108s