Tom Luthi found his pace early on and consistently put in fast laps to the flag to dominate the Le Mans qualifying ahead for round five of the Moto2 championship in France.
Tom Luthi is the only man in the field to have previously won a Moto2 race at Le Mans and his knowledge and ease around the track paid off as he put the pressure on by setting his unbeaten pole record lap of 1m 36. 847seconds early in the session.
The Garage Plus Interwetten riders blistering time put the pressure on his rivals with many falls at the twisting French track , while Luthi instead looked to be in his element and incredibly relaxed.
Last years pole man and previous record holder at the track, Alex Rins came closest to catching the Swiss rider, with his late run leaving him just 0.052s adrift as he pushed his Paginas Amarillas HP 40 Kalex to the limit.
Lorenzo Baldassarri starts third his first front row start as he continues to improve and put his shoulder injuries behind him with the Forward Racing team.
Speed Up man Simone Corsi leads row two after battling on track with Jonas Folger as the pair briefly went to war ahead of Axel Pons.
He is joined by Johann Zarco in fifth, pushing hard to stay on the front row left him in the gravel in the closing minutes as his Ajo Motorsport drove away from him across the track after a turn four fall.
Zarco will be looking to better his third place last season, his first podium finish in his home grand prix.
Franco Morbidelli starts just behind in sixth for Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS. Seventh went to Taka Nakagami for the Idemitsu team.
MotoGP bound Jonas Folger continued his crash-filled weekend as the first faller in the session, skidding a long way behind his Kalex at Museum after just seven minutes and out of fourth at the time.
The Dynavlot Intact GP team worked hard and fast to get the bike back on track and by his return the time had fallen to seventh best. With thirteen minutes remaining the German returned to track to work back up the grid but finished an eventual eighth while tussling with Corsi before returning to the pits looking defeated.
Championship leader and Jerez winner Sam Lowes continues to have a tough weekend and could only manage a lap good enough for ninth for the Gresini team.
Luca Marini was the best performing of the rookies riders, continually cutting his time all the way to the flag for tenth on the second Forward Racing entry.
Fellow rookie Miguel Oliveira also fared well in 14th and was ahead of his Leopard team-mate Danny Kent in 21st .
French Team Tech 3 will be looking for a good result at their home grand prix. Their rookie pair of Xavi Vierge and Isaac Vinales start 22nd and 23rd respectively.
American Danny Elslick gets a taste of grand prix championship action as a replacement for the injured Efren Vazquez, the best he could manage on his debut on the Suter was the final spot on the grid ahead of his first race outside of the United States.
Xavier Simeon was among the early fallers and was soon joined in the gravel by Ratthapark Wilairot, Mattia Pasini and Vierge,who crashed out twice.