Tito Rabat set the early pace with an untouchable new record time leaving him with the best chance possible to dent Johann Zarco's chances of lifting the title on Sunday after qualifying for the Aragon Moto2 Grand Prix.

The EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider powered to the top of the timesheets after just four laps, with the time - a 1m 52.232s lap - holding strong to the flag, bettering his own time from practice which had already dipped under the 2011 record set by Marc Marquez.

Second went to his biggest challenger around Aragon, Alex Rins, with the rookie posting a best time just 0.035s slower than the reigning Moto2 champion.

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Zarco begins his first title assault from third, with a 93 point advantage to his credit the Frenchman needs to gain a further seven points over nearest rival Rabat to take the title this weekend.

While Rabat has spent the weekend breaking records, the Ajo Motorsport hopeful has struggled for pace. A fresh tyre saw the calm and patient Frenchman push his way up to third after being as low as 19th on the timesheets.

Even then there was worry for the team as his previous lap, which had also seen him move to third, was scrapped after a wobble outside the tracks limits.

Not to be outdone for drama, British rider Sam Lowes was sitting in fifth before losing the front and sliding out at turn 17, holding on until the last second before tipping off.

His bike was in good enough shape to ride back to the pits, and was repaired quickly by his Speed Up mechanics, with his final run resulting in a move up to fourth.

A resurgent Taka Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) fresh from podium success in Misano, saw a steady run of quick laps place him fifth on the grid, displaced slightly after the late runs of Lowes and Zarco.

Sixth and the final spot on row two went to EG 0,0 Marc VDS rookie Alex Marquez as he continues to improve and find his feet in Moto2 as the season continues.

Jonas Folger looked ragged and determined on his way to seventh, as did his fellow AGR Team rider Axel Pons on his way to ninth after climbing as high as third in the session. The pair sandwiched Interwetten man Tom Luthi who left it late to claim eighth.

Sandro Cortese secured the final top ten spot on the grid for Dynavolt Intact GP.

Dominique Aegerter was the first faller having posted solid opening laps good enough for a then fifth, returning after a spell in the pits on his Technomag Interwetten Kalex machine but the Swiss rider was forced to settle for 14th on the grid.

Mika Kallio starts 15th after his move to QMMF on his first outing as a Speed Up rider, one place ahead of his new team-mate Julian Simon, who fell late in the session.

Edgar Pons replaces Kallio in Italtrans and his first qualifying session as a permanent world championship rider saw him secure 23rd on the grid.

Equally impressive was Federico Fuligni who has a wild-card ride with Team Ciatti; the VR46 academy rider had shown his quality in the Moto2 class of the CEV with two fourth places at Aragon and qualified 24th.

Franco Morbidelli's replacement Federico Caricasulo has withdrawn from the Aragon weekend after the Italian crashed while taking part in the WSBK races last weekend and then again in FP2 on Friday, leaving the Italtrans team a rider down.