Johann Zarco emulated his success at the Barcelona track last year as he again powered to pole, overcoming the changes to the track and holding off his main rival Alex Rins in the process ahead of the Catalan Moto2 Grand Prix.
The Ajo Motorsport rider went on to win the race last year. Zarco's pole today, with a time of 1m 49.179s, is the reigning champions first time in the top slot of the grid this season.
Moto2 was a subdued affair, with the entire class running stickers in memory of Luis Salom, who passed away in practice yesterday.
Alex Rins had been the first rider to get to grips with the new layout but found himself just 0.035s shy of the best time, but showed good race pace aboard the Paginas Amarillas HP40 Pons bike.
Tom Luthi was the best of the rest and secured the final grid slot for Garage Plus Interwetten.
Taka Nakagami leads off the second row for Idemitsu in fourth, with the remaining times in qualifying very tight.
Sam Lowes was just behind on the timesheets in fifth, with the Gresini rider having a very mixed session.
The Briton crashed at turn nine with twenty minutes of the session left, he then returned the bike to the pits himself, where the mechanics worked hard to allow him to return to the track for the final ten minutes.
On his return Lowes looked set for a front row start before wrecking his lap, only to miss out on a final run as he arrived at the chequered flag just thousandths too late.
Axel Pons joins them on row two in sixth for AGR Team after another solid performance.
Alex Marquez looked far more comfortable aboard the Estrella Galaica 0,0 Marc VDS machine as he steered it to seventh on the grid.
Lorenzo Baldassarri once again impressed for Forward Racing in eighth, with Marcel Schrotter also starting on row three on the second AGR entry in ninth.
Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) held off Simone Corsi (Speed Up) for tenth.
Miguel Oliveira was the best of the rookies in 15th for Leopard, well ahead of his team-mate Danny Kent who also crashed, leaving him short on track time in 21st.
Franco Morbidelli once again struggled to get to grips with the Spanish track, crashing twice, his second a spectacularly worrying tumble through the gravel after clipping the astroturf, though he walked away from both falls unhurt. He starts from 18th.
Remy Gardner returns to the world championship with Tasca Racing Scuderia, after the team parted company with their regular rider Alessandro Tonucci. The American will fill 24th on the grid.
Ramdan Rosli appears as a wild-card in Barcelona for Petronas AHM Malaysia and starts 28th and last.
With Efren Vazquez still out of action and no replacement rider for him there are no Suter bikes on