Cal Crutchlow took a remarkable pole position for the British round of the World Supersport Championship at Donington Park, the Yamaha rider suffering another heavy fall before bouncing back to beat Eugene Laverty by half a second.
Crutchlow has been the dominant performer throughout the free practice sessions, but looked on the back foot after just 15 minutes when he crashed McLeans, requiring a lengthy trip back to the Yamaha pit box.
Nonetheless, the championship leader was straight on the pace again when he resumed 15 minutes from the chequered flag as he disputed the lead with Joan Lascorz and Eugene Laverty.
Laverty looked to have secured pole position with a superb effort with just two minutes remaining, while Crutchlow appeared to scupper his chances by aborting his lap.
However, Crutchlow got back around in time to start his final lap before the chequered flag was dropped, where he proceeded to go more than six tenths up on Laverty at the second sector. Again though, it seemed all over when Crutchlow made an error at the Melbourne hairpin and ran wide, but his advantage was plenty large enough for him to collect his momentum and still cross the line more than half a second quicker than the competition.
A key moment in the title fight potentially, Laverty had to settle for second, where they will be joined on the front row by Kawasaki's Joan Lascorz and Kenan Sofuoglu, the Turk moving up the leaderboard after languishing well outside the top ten for much of the session.
Australian pair Mark Aitchison and Garry McCoy start fifth and sixth to ensure all four manufacturers feature on the first two rows, while Misano podium winner Massimo Roccoli and Katsuaki Fujiwara followed in seventh and eighth.
Anthony West and Fabien Foret completed the top ten for Stiggy Honda and Yamaha SSP.
Elsewhere, championship leader Andrew Pitt – who could come precariously close to confirming the loss of his Supersport crown this weekend – will start a lowly 15th, while Michael Laverty was a solid 18th in his second race with the Echo CRS team.
British Supersport wild-cards Hudson Kennaugh and James Westmorland start 16th and 20th respectively.