Troy Corser has given BMW its first World Superbike Championship pole position after pulling out a stunning lap when it mattered during Superpole at Misano.
The latest landmark in what has been a rapid ascension to prominence for the German manufacturer, Corser was a clear five tenths quicker than nearest rival Max Biaggi.
Having topped two of the four sessions prior to qualifying, Corser allowed Crutchlow to steal the headlines during SP1 and SP2, but rocketed to the top of the timesheets with his one and only effort of 1min 35.001secs at the start of SP3.
Watching from the pit-lane as his rivals fired and missed, Corser's pole position comes in a season – just BMW's second in international track racing – where the Australian has already managed the manufacturer's first front row and podium results.
Corser's advantage over the competition had been eight tenths of a second when the first wave of laps had been completed, but while each returned to try and get closer to him, not even Biaggi on home turf could creep under five tenths.
Nonetheless, the Italian was more up to speed in the sweltering conditions than title rival Leon Haslam, who only scraped into SP3 with a plucky final effort. Once there, howver, he could only manage seventh position.
Between them, Michel Fabrizio
returned to the front row in third position around Ducati's home circuit, although he did rather blot his copybook by crashing after the chequered flag on the warm-down lap.
With Superpole taken into consideration, Crutchlow had looked a slight favourite for pole position having gone quickest during the knockout phases. However, his best lap of the day would fall short by almost seven tenths of a second.
Checa starts fifth on the Althea Ducati, ahead of Suzuki's Sylvain Guintoli, who produced one of his most convincing performances to date to out-qualify his team-mate Haslam for the first time this season.