Jorge Navarro put in the fastest lap on the drying track just before another shower hit Phillip Island to sit on pole for the Moto2 Australian Grand Prix.

The Speed Up rider took his third pole of the season as the weather maintained a stranglehold on qualifying, with the slippery conditions proving difficult to master.

The Spaniard’s best of 1m 33.565s remained on top with progress halted by the weather, with 2018 race winner Brad Binder coming closest to rivalling him, finishing 0.321s behind for Red Bull KTM Ajo.

Luca Marini; who won in Japan; held his form to complete the front row, using his Q1 track time to his advantage he was the only Kalex rider in the top five places for Sky Racing Team VR46 at a circuit where the motorcycle has struggled in the wet and windy conditions.

Fabio Di Giannantonio had earlier managed to find enough speed in the blustery FP3 session to slip into the top 14 and go directly to Q2, the top rookie rider again looked in control in the bad weather as he secured fourth on the second Speed Up.

Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) also did enough to earn a second row start improving to fifth before the late appearance of the rain flags.

Sam Lowes was sixth fastest in qualifying for Gresini but faces a back of the grid penalty for irresponsible riding after his altercation with Jesko Raffin in FP2.

Championship leader Alex Marquez will begin his first opportunity to take the title from seventh for EG 0,0 Marc VDS, ahead of Raffin (NTS RW Racing GP) in eighth and Marco Bezzecchi taking ninth for Red Bull KTM Tech 3.

Iker Lecouna ( Amerian Racing) did enough to earn a top ten start.

Tom Luthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) moved into second in the championship after the race in Japan, but will have a lot to do to maintain his final fightback for the crown from eleventh.

Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) also moves down the grid after qualifying in twelfth with a three place penalty to be added to his grid position.

His team-mate Remy Gardner didn’t have the best qualifying ahead of his home grand prix either, the Australian had needed to come through Q1 along with Marini, Vierge and Lowes with the rain then arriving at just the wrong time, leaving him 15th.

Several big names failed to progress from Q1 - Lorenzo Baldassarri came closest in 19th for Flexbox HP 40. 

Lukas Tulovic had a scary but memorable bailout at Doohan Corner in Q1, leaving him down in 31st on the grid.

Jake Dixon (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team) found progress hard to come by - the British rider will line up in 25th .