MotoGP title leader Dani Pedrosa smashed Casey Stoner's 2008 lap record on his way to a dominant home pole position in Catalunya on Saturday.
While Factory Yamaha team-mates Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi abandoned their opening runs, Pedrosa's set a first flying lap that would have been good enough for pole.
But the Repsol Honda star then broke 0.741s clear of the field with a stunning 1m 40.893s, three tenths under Stoner's record with qualifying tyres, on his second and final run.
That lap was never threatened, satellite star Cal Crutchlow continued his excellent form by snatching second on the grid for Monster Yamaha Tech 3, albeit 0.608s behind Pedrosa.
Reigning world champion Lorenzo revealed that he had been forced to switch to his spare bike due to clutch issues on his opening run and was therefore content to have salvaged a place on the front row.
The #99 briefly held second place, before Crutchlow's late push in the searing 50-degree heat.
Row two of Sunday's grid will be formed by Alvaro Bautista (Gresini Honda), Nicky Hayden (Ducati) and Marc Marquez (Honda).
Lorenzo (2), Pedrosa (2) and rookie Marquez (1) have shared the race victories so far this season - and all count Barcelona as their home event.
Rossi, quickest on Friday, again struggled in qualifying and will start from seventh place, alongside fellow Italians Andrea Iannone (Pramac Ducati) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati).
Stefan Bradl will also be disappointed with tenth for Honda LCR, while injured rookie Bradley Smith and top CRT rider Aleix Espargaro (Aspar) completed the Q2 runners.
Smith and Iannone had progressed to the final part of qualifying after setting the pace in Q1.
1. Dani Pedrosa
2. Cal Crutchlow
3. Jorge Lorenzo
4. Alvaro Bautista
5. Nicky Hayden
6. Marc Marquez
7. Valentino Rossi
8. Andrea Iannone
9. Andrea Dovizioso
10. Stefan Bradl
11. Bradley Smith
12. Aleix Espargaro
Don't miss out! The next round of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship takes place at Assen on June 27-29 - CLICK HERE to see ticket prices from the Official MotoGP Ticket Store.