Dani Pedrosa has taken pole position for the 2012 Italian Grand Prix after a fast and furious session saw him destroy the Mugello pole position record by almost a second.
The Repsol Honda rider was locked in a session-long duel with Jorge Lorenzo, who had dominated proceedings in the run up to qualifying. But the Yamaha rider abandoned his flying lap -opening the way for Pedrosa to come through for the top spot.
With Pedrosa lowering his best to an eventual 1min 47.284secs on his last revolution, Lorenzo felt ready to challenge that marker, but was forced to end his session in the pit-lane when an apparent 'electronic problem' cut-out the engine at the very final corner.
Prior to that, Lorenzo had looked on course for the top spot having held a comfortable advantage through the splits, though it is worth nothing that Pedrosa's very best effort would come after his countryman had called time on his session.
Despite this, Lorenzo – who came into qualifying having topped each of the three practice sessions – was still second fastest in a session that saw the top eight go below Casey Stoner's 2011 pole position-winning time of 1min 48.034secs.
Indeed, having already gone quicker than that marker in FP3, Lorenzo quickly made his intentions known with a 1min 47.834secs lap 20 minutes into the session, though Pedrosa ran him close.
What followed was a game of 'cat-and-mouse' as they attempted to out-perform one another with their best laps, a battle that was ended prematurely by Lorenzo's technical issues.
If the top two riders were predictable, then the rider that joins them on the front row was anything but, as Hector Barbera slotted into third position after an inspired effort on the Pramac Ducati.
Giving the faithful Ducatisti
something to cheer about on home soil, while it wasn't hero Valentino Rossi doing the business for them up at the front of the grid, Barbera and Nicky Hayden's third and fourth places mark a welcome boost for the ailing manufacturer.