Hiroshi Aoyama held on to pole position for Sunday's 250cc Malaysian Grand Prix after a slower second qualifying session at Sepang.
Marco Simoncelli was the fastest rider during the Saturday session, pushing the world championship leader - who could well be crowned one round early on Sunday - up one place on the grid to third, at the expense of Aoyama's KTM team-mate Mika Kallio.
Mapfre Aprilia's Alvaro Bautista was second in both qualifying sessions, with Aoyama third on Saturday - the Japanese lapping almost 0.642sec adrift of his Friday pace.
Aside from Simoncelli, Julian Simon and Yuki Takahashi were the only other riders in the top ten to improve upon their provisional grid position.
Grid line-up - Sepang:
1. Aoyama (KTM) 2min 6.893sec
2. Bautista (Aprilia) +0.180sec
3. Simoncelli (Gilera) +0.216sec
4. Kallio (KTM) +0.225sec
5. Wilairot (Honda) +0.517sec
6. Espargaro (Aprilia) +0.562sec
7. Simon (KTM) +0.775sec
8. Takahashi (Honda) +0.873sec
9. Debon (Aprilia) +1.027sec
10. Faubel (Aprilia) +1.116sec