Alex Debon has taken a wet provisional pole for Sunday's season-ending 250cc grand prix, at Valencia.
The Lotus Aprilia rider emerged on top of a session littered by falls, his own tumble occurring around the halfway mark - but he brushed the incident off to hit the top soon after, where he remained.
The Spaniard, a double race winner this season, finished the day 0.396sec ahead of Hiroshi Aoyama, whose KTM team-mate Mika Kallio was left just 0.005sec slower after surviving a nasty highside - which sent his orange machine spearing into a trackside barrier with eight minutes remaining.
Newly crowned world champion Marco Simoncelli was fourth fastest for Metis Gilera, with Mattia Pasini falling repeatedly on his way to fifth for Polaris world Aprilia.
First qualifying - Valencia:
1. Debon (Aprilia) 1min 50.001sec
2. Aoyama (KTM) +0.396sec
3. Kallio (KTM) +0.401sec
4. Simoncelli (Gilera) +0.504sec
5. Pasini (Aprilia) +0.546sec
6. Simon (KTM) +0.580sec
7. Toth (Aprilia) +0.929sec
8. Pesek (Aprilia) +1.011sec
9. Bautista (Aprilia) +1.116sec
10. Lai (Gilera) +1.856sec