Jorge Lorenzo continued his dominance of Estoril MotoGP events since his 2008 debut by making it four poles from four attempts on Saturday - an achievement he will try and replicate with his fourth win in Sunday's race.
Yamaha's reigning world champion and 2011 title leader took pole from Marco Simoncelli by 0.133sec with just under five-minutes to go, with the Italian denied a chance to respond when he crashed out moments later.
Lorenzo now holds the record for the Spanish rider with most poles in all GP classes in the modern era, with 43. It is also his 17th MotoGP pole, equalling Dani Pedrosa's record for Spanish riders in the premier class.
But Lorenzo isn't dwelling on the achievement.
“Today has been complicated; I've got it just by a tenth in the end, managing five good laps with the softer tyre,” said Lorenzo. “The most important thing is the race though, not that I have 43 pole position starts.
“This track is strange to ride on, quite old with lots of holes so you have to ride with care. I need a good start tomorrow, be focussed, intelligent and have good luck. The bike is improving, it's much better in fast corners but we could be faster on the straight,” added the Jerez winner.
Team manager Wilco Zeelenberg claimed that continuing Lorenzo's perfect victory record at Estoril was not the main priority.
“We know Jorge is good here at Estoril but our mission is to be on the podium and keep our unbroken podium finish run alive,” he said. “Of course to have pole is nice but tomorrow is the race, it will be a difficult one so it is important to start well.”
Pedrosa, Lorenzo's nearest title rival, will start third on the grid while Factory Yamaha team-mate Ben Spies lines up just behind another Repsol Honda rider - and round one winner - Casey Stoner in fifth.
“It was a good session for us; we definitely made the bike better after we've been struggling a bit this weekend,” said Spies. “I knew we were capable of it if we got the bike working with the right set up.
“We're not 100% but I'm happy to be in the middle of the second row. Hopefully we can get a good start and put together a good race. I'm definitely feeling a lot better after qualifying than I did yesterday.”
Spies didn't start last year's race after crashing, and being injured, on the way to the grid as all riders experimented with the grip from their slick tyres after a weekend of wet weather.