MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo claimed a new all-time record of 64 grand prix pole positions by delivering the best lap of his life at Misano on Saturday.
The Movistar Yamaha rider, whose 2016 title hopes are on the ropes after struggling in cold and wet conditions, blasted to the first ever sub-1m 32s lap of the Italian circuit on his final run.
The Spaniard had already set a new lap record on his opening run, giving him the confidence to take greater risks after the tyre change.
"You always have the impression that the last pole position was the best of your life, but I really think that this one was," Lorenzo said. "Maybe both laps, because a '32.0 is already a great lap time and because I had that lap I wanted to risk a little bit to improve.
"I risked a little bit more in braking, opened the throttle a little bit more especially in the slow corners where the risk of injury is much less. I risked more than normal, no? So finally the risk was worth it because we made an impressive lap time and I'm so glad about this qualifying."
Lorenzo's stunning lap kept him 0.348s clear of team-mate Valentino Rossi and 0.513s ahead of Suzuki's Maverick Vinales, who completed the front row.
All three later revealed they have suffered consistency problems with the rear tyres; performance varying significantly among tyres that should be the same.
"Little-by-little we improved the bike a lot, but this weekend there have been problems with some rear tyres. Some less grip tyres for some riders and I had this problem in FP4," Lorenzo explained.
"It also happened sometimes with Bridgestone, to be honest. But in Silverstone I have problems with the tyres. From the first lap I felt more spinning, and then I have the problem that the tyres were spinning on the wheel.
"But this weekend I have one or two tyres that were not the same performance and a big lack of performance, not only a couple of tenths but maybe half second or even seven-tenths. That is not normal. We just hope tomorrow for the race that the rear tyre will be okay.
"Anyway, when the tyre was okay I could make a similar pace to Marquez. Then we improved some details in the corners that allowed us to be even faster and so finally in the qualifying with not so much fuel and pushing at the limit we did a great lap time.
"I think in the race pace we can be in '33.0, 32-high maybe, and this can be a winning pace."
Lorenzo won three of the opening six races, but none of the following six. He is 64 points from Marc Marquez and 14 from Rossi heading into Sunday's race, which Marquez will start from fourth place.