Ian Hutchinson sensationally clinched pole position for Saturday's 47th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix on the Milwaukee Yamaha.
The Yorkshire rider, who is back in competitive action for the first time in almost 18 months after recovering from more surgery on his damaged left leg, edged out eight-time winner Michael Rutter by 0.057s to take the top spot.
Hutchy left it until the penultimate lap of the session to clock a time of 2m 25.568s compared to Rutter's lap of 2m 25.625s.
The pair circulated together around the Guia street circuit, with Rutter on the SMT Honda chasing after the red and white YZF-R1.
However, Hutchinson was not to be denied and dug deep to pull out a blistering lap as the session reached a conclusion.
Isle of Man TT star John McGuinness maintained third position on the Honda TT Legends machine with a best lap in 2m 27.447s - 1.879s down on the leaders - while Austria's Horst Saiger moved up to fourth ahead of Riders BMW contender Martin Jessopp.
Gary Johnson was sixth quickest on the Quattro Plant Honda followed by DMR Racing's Jimmy Storrar and German rider Didier Grams.
American Jeremy Toye and Manxman Dan Kneen completed the top ten.
Lee Johnston was the best of the Northern Ireland riders in 11th place on the East Coast Honda followed by fellow countryman Stephen Thompson and Aussie David Johnson in 13th position.
Dean Harrison qualified an impressive 15th on his Macau debut on the RC Express MSS Kawasaki in front of Dan Cooper.
Irish road racing star Jamie Hamilton was 19th fastest on the VRS Honda Fireblade ahead of Mark Miller and Davy Morgan, while Ian Lougher will start from 25th place on the grid in his final ever race.
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