Jonas Folger put himself in a great position to repeat his Qatar win from last season by setting a blistering lap in just his third trip around the circuit in Saturday's qualifying ahead of the Moto2 Qatar Grand Prix
The German rider pushed his Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex to the limit and looked confident and assured on his way to a sixth career pole with a new lap record of 1m 59.052.
British rider Sam Lowes chipped away at his best lap in his first qualifying session as a Gresini rider to come close to matching Folger, ending the session just 0.07s behind the best lap time at the close. Lowes held pole position for the 2015 raceas a Speed Up rider.
Alex Rins had the most eventful qualifying, finishing third for Paginas Amarillas HP 40 despite a huge tumble early in the session. Mechanics were borrowed from both sides of the garage to fix his Kalex, which made an amazing return to track in the final minutes, it then appeared to stop on track before the Spaniard got in a final lap over the line.
Reigning champion Johann Zarco improved throughout, setting his best time on his last lap aboard the Ajo Motorsport bike to gain a place for fourth.
Franco Morbidelli put in a solid performance to take fifth on the grid for EG 0,0 Marc VDS, with Sandro Cortese similarly consistent in sixth on the second Dynavolt entry.
Lorenzo Baldassarri suffered a big crash in the final minute of the session but had already done enough to place his Forward Racing machine seventh.
Marcel Schrotter (AGR Team) was the first rider to take the flag in eighth, Taka Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) followed soon after with a personal best lap for ninth.
Tom Luthi completes the top ten on the grid, with late changes to his Interwetten bike making little improvement.
Danny Kent sits in eleventh on his Moto2 return with the Leopard team as he found time when it counts in a tight session with the top fourteen all within a second of the pole time.
Edgar Pons was the best placed rookie in 14th on the second Paginas Amarillas HP 40 entry.
A clash between Luca Marini and Ratthapark Wilairot ended in the sessions first crash with Forward spending much of the remaining time working on the Italians bike, he returned in the final minutes for 26th, having not set a time before the incident.
Mattia Pasini also suffered a fall from his Italtrans during the session.