By Lisa Lewis
Jonas Folger scored his second pole of the season, as lap times set by the Moto3 bikes fell to new lows in qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix, at Misano on Saturday.
The German led for most of the session, only really troubled by Alex Rins for the top spot, with his last run aboard his Kalex KTM giving him pole.
The Aspar riders found his rhythm to set a time of 1m 42.707 - almost 1.5 seconds quicker than Sandro Cortese's 2012 pole record and quicker than the best all-time lap from Rins in last years race, leaving him in an excellent position to fight for his third podium finish of the year.
Rins, who had the fastest time heading into qualifying, was competitive aboard his KTM, but had to settle for second place on the grid for the Estrella Galicia team, as he makes a late push to be in contention for the title hunt.
Maverick Vinales rallied after the disappointment of his first off the podium finish at Silverstone to complete the front row starters in third in another not quite there session for the Team Calvo rider.
Zulfahmi Khairuddin crashed at turn 13 after just seven minutes as his 2013 campaign looked set to continue to struggle along. The Malaysian then seemed to be spurred on by his fall and recovered to head up the second row from fourth, the best performance from the Red Bull KTM team of riders.
The honour of being top Italian at Misano went to Niccolo Antonelli as his season continues to improve after a series of retirements at the start of the year. The Go & Fun Gresini rider was also the best qualifying Honda rider in fifth.
In a field swelled with Mahindras after a defection by Ambrogio, Miguel Oliveira was the best rider for the manufacturer, the Portuguese racer being followed by a swarm of riders on a late flying lap, some setting better times, putting him sixth.
Brazilian Eric Granado was one of the group of riders getting a tow, leading to a best of seventh on the grid on the second Mapfre Aspar bike.