Ben Spies will start from his ninth World Superbike Championship pole position of the season at Brno after edging out Michel Fabrizio in a hotly contested qualifying session around the Czech circuit.
The American was the dominant force through the knockout phases before he went on to pump in a winning lap of 1min 58.868secs.
Although Fabrizio got to within a tenth of Spies with his best effort, it wasn't quite enough for him to become only the second person this season to deny the Yamaha rider the Saturday spoils.
Provisional pole sitter Max Biaggi maintained his good form to qualify third, while Jonathan Rea starts from the front row on the Ten Kate Honda, despite being almost a second adrift of the leaders.
As expected, the battle for pole position came down to Spies, Fabrizio and Biaggi, the trio having been consistently quickest throughout free practice. Nonetheless, it was title chaser Spies that was quickest from the outset, hitting the front with first effort during Q3 before watching as Fabrizio and Biaggi tried – and failed – to match it.
Although Spies even attempted to go quicker during the closing stages, he was comfortable enough to keep the Roman pair at bay.
Perhaps more importantly for Spies is the absence of Haga from the first few rows of the grid, the Japanese rider confirming the difficulties he is having with his injured shoulder and wrist by labouring to 14th on the grid.
Although it was a herculean effort from the championship leader in what has been a difficult weekend thus far, he will now have to start on row four of the grid.
Upholding Ducati Xerox honours up front, although he missed out on pole position, Fabrizio remains well poised in second position having performed well at Brno in recent years, with both Spies and Biaggi acknowledging him as the big threat come race day.