Dani Pedrosa emerged triumphant after a thrilling qualifying session for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang - the Spaniard sealing his first pole position with Bridgestone tyres at his fourth attempt and claiming the first ever pole for the pneumatic-valve RC212V.
The one hour qualifying session began on a soaking wet, but drying, track - causing the provisional pole time to be cut from 2min 20sec (on wet tyres) after the first ten minutes, to 2min 2.9sec (on qualifying spec slicks) with two minutes of the hour remaining.
2007 world champion Casey Stoner was in command as the closing minutes began, but was replaced at the top by JiR Team Scot's Andrea Dovizioso and then Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi as the chequered flag was waved.
It was only then that Pedrosa shot forward from ninth to pole, by a comfortable 0.409sec from Rossi, with the second factory M1 of Jorge Lorenzo claiming the final front row start.
"It is fantastic to be on pole here, especially since this is my first pole with Bridgestone tyres, so a big thank you to them and also to my team who have worked so hard for this," said Pedrosa.
"Track conditions were changing all the time this afternoon, so it was quite tricky. At the beginning it was wet, then little by little the track dried, so you had to be on the ball to understand when it was best to change tyres. I was able to get in a good lap time in my final run, and I'm very happy to get this pole position.
"Pole is particularly important here because the lap times are all very close, so a good start will be crucial. We already know what race tyres we are going to use and I feel that we are ready to race.
"Of course, everything depends on the weather, it usually rains here most days, so we will have to wait and see when tomorrow's rain storm arrives. It could be wet, dry or mixed," he concluded.
Despite the uncertain weather, team manager Kazuhiko Yamano believes Pedrosa is capable of his first Bridgestone victory - and third race win of the season - on Sunday.
"Dani did a great job, my congratulations to him, especially since this is his first pole with Bridgestone. My thanks to them and to all the team on this important day," he said. "His last lap was very good and very fast. I think he is ready to fight for the win here, all the elements are there, so we are looking forward to a very exciting race."
Michelin shod team-mate Nicky Hayden will start from fourth on the grid.