Tech 3 Yamaha team-mates Colin Edwards and James Toseland both led an exciting Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying session at Sepang on Saturday, but will start fifth and 12th on the grid respectively.

Edwards and Toseland topped the timesheets in the final ten minutes of a session that started on a wet - but rapidly drying - track, allowing slicks to be fitted around the halfway stage of the hour.

Edwards, who was quickest in yesterday's dry conditions, took provisional pole with six minutes remaining, but was soon bumped backwards by the tumbling times. Like many, the 33-year-old saved his best for last and moved into second position on his final lap, but had lost three places by the time the track fell silent.

Nevertheless, Edwards still secured his best grid position since the German GP in mid-July and missed the front row by just 0.074sec. The Texan has been able to consistently post some of the most competitive lap times in the dry this weekend, raising hopes of a podium challenge in tomorrow's 21-lap race.

"That was a pretty eventful session to say the least. I was last, first, tenth and ended up fifth and that's how it can be on a drying track," said Colin. "You have tyres that are right for one moment, and then a minute later that's not the right tyre and six or more guys go faster.

"It was drying really quickly, but I was worried it was going to rain again and I was going to be in big trouble because I think I was last at one point. I think I was the first guy to go on slicks in the front and rear and I got to some decent times for the conditions, just using a soft race tyre to get some confidence for the qualifiers.

"I only used two qualifiers and my first one was just to understand how much grip there was. The grip was pretty good although there were still a couple of little damp patches you had to watch for. It only slowed us down by a second from last year's pole but you just had to stay on line. You couldn't really venture off line too far.

"On my last qualifier I did a good job but I made a small mistake and that might have cost me the front row. But with the way the session started and the problems I was having with the rain tyres on a drying track, I'll definitely take a place on the second row.

"I feel good for tomorrow's race. I've been going well all weekend in the dry and we played with the rear shock today, making the spring a bit softer and the bike feels even better. I've just got to convert it into a result now," he concluded.

The mixed conditions also made it an action-packed session for 28-year-old Toseland. Initially running full wet and then intermediate tyres to build up his confidence, once he'd fitted his YZR-M1 with slick rubber he jumped into the top three with 17 minutes remaining.

The rookie then moved into first place with just nine minutes left on the clock before a time of 2min 2.282sec on his final qualifying tyre put him on the second row. As lap times continued to plummet, Toseland slipped down to 12th, but remains confident of a strong performance in Sunday's race.

"Today was all about timing and judging when to jump on the bike with slick tyres on to make the most of the drying track. But unfortunately I just missed out," he confirmed. "The track was just drying at the point when I'd run out of time to put in another qualifier, but I'm sure I could have got in the 2.02s and that's a second row, so it is a bit frustrating.

"We have still got some work to do for the race tomorrow as well. This morning in the dry we moved in the right direction and I was about a second off. If I can improve the setting to run in high 2.02s, then there is no reason why I can't be fighting for the top six," he added.