Cal Crutchlow blasted to his second MotoGP pole position during qualifying at Brno in the Czech Republic.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 star had taken his first grand prix pole earlier this year at Assen, but played down the achievement due to the absence of world champion Jorge Lorenzo.
Crutchlow's Brno pole came against a full line-up of factory riders, the Englishman ranked third after his first run before shooting to the top by 0.227s with a new lap record during his second and final run.
Gresini Honda's Alvaro Bautista had been towed to the top after shadowing title leader Marc Marquez during the first run, which proved enough to secure second on the grid, with Marquez starting on the outside of the front row for Repsol Honda.
Marquez's team-mate Dani Pedrosa, Factory Yamaha's Lorenzo and Tech 3 rookie Bradley Smith will form row two. Smith was just 0.427s from pole as he matched his best qualifying position of the season.
Valentino Rossi, LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl and Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso will start from row three.
Team-mates Lorenzo and Rossi were visibly disappointed with their qualifying - the pair left fifth and eighth after their first runs, then unable to notably improve their situation following a tyre change.
Dovizioso's team-mate Nicky Hayden rounded out the top ten, followed by Pramac Ducati's Andrea Iannone and Forward's Colin Edwards - the top CRT rider - who both graduated to Q2 by leading the earlier Q1 session.
Winner of the last three races, Marquez will start Sunday's race holding a 21 point lead over Pedrosa, with Lorenzo 35 points from the top.
Crutchlow, fifth and the top satellite rider in the world championship standings, took his first MotoGP podium at Brno last year. Could Sunday produce his first race win?
1. Cal Crutchlow
2. Alvaro Bautista
3. Marc Marquez
4. Dani Pedrosa
5. Jorge Lorenzo
6. Bradley Smith
7. Valentino Rossi
8. Stefan Bradl
9. Andrea Dovizioso
10. Nicky Hayden
11. Andrea Iannone
12. Colin Edwards