Several frontrunners from the opening phase of qualification were left disappointed in Q2 as they were eliminated from the top eighth shootout.
A disappointing session for some of the more experienced riders, four of the top five from Q1, Troy Corser, Max Biaggi, Shane Byrne and Ryuichi Kiyonari, would not progress throughout to the final session to decide the front two rows.
First of the unfortunate parties was Yukio Kagayama, who was demoted to ninth in the final seconds by a last gasp effort from Carlos Checa, along with Biaggi and Jonathan Rea, the Northern Irishman getting limited running after encountering a problem with his lead bike early on in the session.
Having set an impressive pace in practice, Regis Laconi will start a disappointed 12th for DFX Ducati, although Karl Muggeridge will be pleased to have secured a much improved 13th for Celani Suzuki.
By contrast, fellow fourth row competitors Byrne, Corser and Kiyonari will be rather more frustrated to have fallen considerably off the pace in the short break between sessions.
Up at the front, the lap times continue to drop, with Ben Spies breaking Max Neukirchner's fresh lap record with a 1min 37.715secs, ahead of Jakub Smrz and Neukirchner.