Marc Marquez, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo will line-up on the front row of Sunday's MotoGP grid after a dramatic day in Argentina.
As speculation swirled that riders will be forced to race with the hard rear tyre compound following a scary incident for Scott Redding in final practice, the delayed qualifying sessions saw a spate of front end accidents at turn 1.
Last to fall through the long left-hander was Marquez, the Repsol Honda star taking a few seconds to stand up after a heavy impact. The Spaniard was guided straight to parc ferme on his return to the pits, having kept pole despite the spill. It was his second fall of the day, both at Turn 1.
Movistar Yamaha team-mates Rossi and Lorenzo (big Turn 1 accident in final practice) saved their best laps for last to complete the front row, 0.375s and 0.533s behind Marquez, whose team-mate Dani Pedrosa heads row two.
Andrea Dovizioso got the better of Ducati team-mate Andrea Iannone for fifth position, with Maverick Vinales the top Suzuki in seventh. A sick Hector Barbera claimed top satellite honours for Avintia Ducati in eighth, followed by Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), Pol Espargaro (Tech 3 Yamaha), Aleix Espargaro (Suzuki) and Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Yamaha).
Smith and team-mate Espargaro progressed to Qualifying 2 by leading the Qualifying 1 session, but the Englishman would later become another Turn 1 victim - thus joining the likes of Marquez, Lorenzo, Crutchlow, Jack Miller, Vinales, Aleix Espargaro and Pol Espargaro.
Rossi won last year's Termas de Rio Hondo race after using the hard rear tyre to hunt down Marquez. The Honda rider was then dramatically flung down the road when the pair tangled moments after Rossi snatched the lead on the penultimate lap.
1 Marc Marquez
2 Valentino Rossi
3 Jorge Lorenzo
4 Dani Pedrosa
5 Andrea Dovizioso
6 Andrea Iannone
7 Maverick Viñales
8 Hector Barbera
9 Cal Crutchlow
10 Pol Espargaro
11 Aleix Espargaro
12 Bradley Smith