Marc Marquez claimed his seventh successive Sachsenring pole on a day when nearest title rival Jorge Lorenzo suffered two falls in qualifying.
While Marquez - also chasing seventh German Grand Prix wins in a row on Sunday - had been no lower than third throughout practice, Lorenzo has been on the back foot ever since a big fall in FP1.
Still down in 15th after FP3 forced Lorenzo into Qualifying 1, where he was again sent bouncing through the gravel by a Turn 8 lowside from his Movistar Yamaha.
Fortunately for the reigning world champion he had done enough to advance to Qualifying 2, alongside Q1 leader Danilo Petrucci. But a rider who in past seasons has rarely made multiple mistakes went on to fall yet again, at the slow first turn, leaving him eleventh on Sunday's grid.
With nearest practice rival Andrea Iannone also down at turn one, Marquez was rarely troubled by the opposition and finished the 15-minute shootout 0.412s ahead of surprise second place qualifier Hector Barbera.
The Avintia Ducati rider made use of tows from Marquez and later Iannone to claim his best ever grid start, on the two-year old GP14.2 machine, with Valentino Rossi (completing the front row in third (+0.506s).
Petrucci, Tech 3's Pol Espargaro and Suzuki's Maverick Vinales will form row two of the grid, followed by Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati), Aleix Espargaro (Suzuki) and Iannone.
Marquez's Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa was 0.732s behind pole for tenth place, with Aspar Ducati's Yonny Hernandez completing the twelve riders to start Qualifying 2.
Marquez begins Sunday's race, the last before the summer break, with a 24-point lead over Lorenzo and 42-point advantage over Rossi.
1 Marc Marquez
2 Hector Barbera
3 Valentino Rossi
4 Danilo Petrucci
5 Pol Espargaro
6 Maverick Viñales
7 Andrea Dovizioso
8 Aleix Espargaro
9 Andrea Iannone
10 Dani Pedrosa
11 Jorge Lorenzo
12 Yonny Hernandez
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