250cc World Championship leader Marco Simoncelli has taken pole position for Sunday's Australian Grand Prix by a massive 0.787secs.

The Italian's best lap, of 1min 32.075secs, was less than one second slower than the lap times set by the tail end of the MotoGP field and give the Gilera rider an excellent chance of extending his 32 point lead over Alvaro Bautista.

Bautista, who took provisional pole at Phillip Island, will start third on the grid, between the factory KTM's of Mika Kallio (second) and Hiroshi Aoyama (fourth).

Final qualifying - Phillip Island:

1. Simoncelli (Gilera) 1min 32.075secs
2. Kallio (KTM) +0.787secs
3. Bautista (Aprilia) +0.842secs
4. Aoyama (KTM) +0.973secs
5. Faubel (Aprilia) +1.092secs
6. Simon (KTM) +1.175secs
7. Takahashi (Honda) +1.219secs
8. Debon (Aprilia) +1.274secs
9. Espargaro (Aprilia) +1.293secs
10. Pasini (Aprilia) +1.301secs