Gresini star Sam Lowes secured his second pole of the season as qualifying drew to a close for the Spanish Moto2 Grand Prix in Jerez.
Lowes was one of few riders to find late improvements, posting his best of 1m 42.408s as the clock ran down. The Brit has a big chance to increase his slim championship lead of just one point with several of his rivals under-performing, notably Johann Zarco who finished his day a frustrated 16th.
German team-mates Jonas Folger and Sandro Cortese complete the front row for the Dynavolt Intact GP team. Both riders set their front row worthy laps at the start of the session, Cortese on just his third lap, while Folger spent much of the session sitting comfortably in the pits untroubled in a baseball cap.
Folger also comes in to the race with good form having been the most recent Moto2 winner at the track in 2015 and the only man currently lining up on the grid to take victory in Jerez.
Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli also set his best lap at the start of the session to take the top spot on row two in fourth.
He is joined by Garage Plus Interwetten rider Tom Luthi in fifth and Forward Racing's Lorenzo Baldassarri, still riding through the pain barrier for sixth.
Alex Rins struggled to master the track, leaving him seventh for Paginas Amarillas HP 40, but the Pons rider was still the top home rider.
Also on row three are Simone Corsi who will be hoping to conjure up some birthday magic on race day for Speed Up, and Alex Marquez who has his birthday on qualifying day, wearing a special helmet as he rode to ninth for Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS.
Luis Salom completes the top ten for SAG team, just holding off top rookie Luca Marini who starts eleventh on the second Forward Racing entry.
Britain's Danny Kent could not match his early pace and fell down the timesheets to 15th, one place behind his rookie team-mate at Leopard, Miguel Oliveira.
Times were tight with the top twenty all within a second of the pole time.
Corsi had been the first to fall, but was also joined in the gravel by Xavier Simeon, who's mechanics worked had to return him to the track in time for a late dash for 19th on the grid.
Federico Fuligni returns for another wild-card ride for Team Ciatti, the same team he rides for in the CEV Moto2 championship, where he finished on the podium at the last race. He starts last.