Moto3 title leader Jack Miller returned to pole position for the first time since Indianapolis during a sunny qualifying session for the San Marino Grand Prix.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider spent much of the session down the order, but put in his strongest lap when it counted in the decisive final five minutes to lead the field off on Sunday as the lack of dry track time affected others.

Second went to Niki Ajo on the Avant Tenco Husqvarna Ajo, his best qualifying performance. The Finn was the only other rider to set a sub 1m 43 second time and was just 0.004 behind Miller. Ajo is hoping to exploit a rare clear start from the front row on Sunday.

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Ensuring a good mix of manufacturers on the front row is Alex Rins who placed his Honda third on the timesheets, setting his best lap as he took the flag aboard his Estrella Galicia machine to guarantee he held position.

Many other high profile riders, including Miller, had their lap times cancelled, often due to running wide and being deemed to have exceeded the track limit at turn six when the riders began to push and clip the astroturf.

Early pace-setter Alex Marquez dropped his bike as all those around him improved leaving the second of the Estrella Galicica bikes on the second row as he failed to improve, and starts fourth.

Also on row two is the highest placed Mahindra of Miguel Oliveira in fifth and the second of the Husqvarna bikes in sixth as an impressive last lap dash pushed Briton Danny Kent up the order.

Niccolo Antonelli was the best of the local talent in seventh for Junior Team Go& Fun. Isaac Vinales starts eighth for Team Calvo with Efren Vazquez Taking the final slot on row three for SaxoPrint-RTG in ninth.

Brad Binder completes the top ten for Ambrogio Racing.

Romano Fenati celebrated his eleventh after spending much of the session in the pits, shaking his head and out of contention as he again struggled to squeeze the best out of his Sky Racing Team VR46 bike in qualifying.

British rider John McPhee also spent much of his time in the pits making alterations to move into 15th for SaxoPrint-RTG as the chequered flag waved.

Remy Gardner replaces the injured Luca Grunwald at Kiefer Racing and starts his world championship career by qualifying 33rd on his debut.

Gabriel Rodrigo returns to the paddock for another wild-card performance. The Argentinian will start from an impressive 20th for RBA Racing Team.

Also making a one-off appearance Lorenzo Petrarca qualified in 31st for Team Ciatti.

There were still a few wobbles as the track continued to dry after the downpours experienced on Friday with Marc VDS rider Jorge Navarro the first crasher. Vazquez and Antonelli also fell during qualifying, with the Italian covering the track with stones sent flying from his exhaust in the final minutes after his late crash.