Moto2 title leader Stefan Bradl extended his perfect 2011 run of pole positions to four after leading Saturday's Moto2 qualifying session at Le Mans.
The championship leader, winner of two races this year, put his Kalex just 0.045sec clear of Interwetten Suter's Thomas Luthi, who continued his perfect 2011 front-row record with second place.
Gresini Moriwaki's Yuki Takahashi, who took an emotional podium at Estoril, snatched third with his last lap of the session.
Former MotoGP rider Aleix Espargaro qualified a Moto2-best of fourth for Pons-Kalex, ahead of Marc VDS Suter rider Scott Redding.
Reigning 125cc world champion Marc Marquez will start his 50th grand prix from fifth place after a mistake on his last lap. The young Spaniard is yet to finish a Moto2 race.
Bradl will start round four with a 13 point advantage over Speed Master Suter rider Andrea Iannone, whose eighth place on the grid is his best qualifying of the season so far.
Frenchman Jules Cluzel starts eleventh, while Tech 3's Bradley Smith dropped to 17th after tangling with a fallen Axel Pons, who was taken to the medical centre.
Qualifying - Le Mans:
1. Bradl (Kalex) 1m 38.357s
2. Luthi (Suter) +0.045s
3. Takahashi (Moriwaki) +0.183s
4. A. Espargaro (Pons Kalex) +0.203s
5. Redding (Suter) +0.298s
6. Marquez (Suter) +0.322s
7. Corsi (FTR) +0.349s
8. Iannone (Suter) +0.442s
9. Simon (Suter) +0.462s
10. Aegerter (Suter) +0.492s
17. Smith (Tech 3) +0.866s
35. Coghlan (FTR) +2.282s