Marc Marquez produced a breath-taking pole lap to set the fastest ever time around Motorland Aragon during final qualifying before escaping unhurt after sliding off in the dying seconds.
The reigning MotoGP world champion secured the top spot with a stunning lap in 1m 46.635s to knock Movistar Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo back to second during an explosive Q2, which saw Ducati's Andrea Iannone earn a front row start in third despite riding with a shoulder injury.
Marquez, who like Lorenzo opted for a three-run strategy, was on his third and final time attack after switching to his number two Repsol Honda when he came off at Turn 2, losing the front end of the RC213V and sliding into the gravel.
Nonetheless, the Spanish star held onto pole but only by 0.108 seconds from the impressive Lorenzo, who demonstrated his own blistering pace at Aragon with a flying lap in 1m 46.743s on his second run.
Championship leader Valentino Rossi – who holds a 23-point advantage over team-mate Lorenzo – crucially squeezed onto the second row in sixth place, setting his best time in 1m 47.492s as he finished 0.857s off the top.
Rossi is joined on the second row by Pol Espargaro on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine – the leading satellite M1 in fourth – and Dani Pedrosa on the second Repsol Honda.
Iannone's heroic effort to put the GP15 onto the front row despite dislocating his shoulder in a training incident was one of the most impressive performances in Q2, particularly so given that team-mate Andrea Dovizioso failed to progress from Q1 after being outdone by Pramac Ducati pair Danilo Petrucci and Yonny Hernandez.
Petrucci qualified ninth overall – 1.140s down on Marquez – with Hernandez slotting into 11th place ahead of Maverick Vinales on the Suzuki GSX-RR.
A dejected Dovizioso will start Sunday's race from row five alongside Scott Redding on the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda and Ireland's Eugene Laverty (Aspar Honda), who were 14th and 15th respectively.
Laverty, who has shown excellent pace on the RC213V-RS Honda, was the leading Open rider ahead of team-mate Nicky Hayden, who is riding with an injured thumb.
Suzuki's Aleix Espargaro heads up the third row of the grid, with Cal Crutchlow on the LCR Honda eighth fastest behind the Ducati GP14.2 of Petrucci.
Bradley Smith, who showed plenty of promise after finishing third fastest on Friday on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine, was only 10th and joins Hernandez and Vinales on the fourth row.
1 Marc Marquez
2 Jorge Lorenzo
3 Andrea Iannone
4 Pol Espargaro
5 Dani Pedrosa
6 Valentino Rossi
7 Aleix Espargaro
8 Cal Crutchlow
9 Danilo Petrucci
10 Bradley Smith
11 Yonny Hernandez
12 Maverick Viñales