Simone Corsi scored his first Moto2 pole of the season with a last-gasp effort in qualifying at Aragon.
The Ioda FTR man left it late, but as the checkered flag flew he stopped the clock at 1m54.343s, enough to give him provisional pole by just over one tenth of a second.
A spate of riders were still out on track however, among them points leader Marc Marquez, who has accounted for seven poles already this year.
The Monlau Suter rider pulled back an early deficit in the third sector and was a genuine threat until a wobble in the final turns disrupted his lap and left him just seventh, his lowest result all year.
Pol Espargaro, Marquez's closest rival in the championship, compounded the damage by stealing second late on, ahead of Andrea Iannone and Claudio Corti.
Jordi Torres, who has only contested selected races this year, wound up fifth. He was second when, with three minutes remaining, he crashed at Turn 13 and brought his session to an early close.
Thomas Luthi, fourth in the championship, was another crasher, although his spill proved far more costly as he could only claim 19th on the grid.
Nico Terol took fifth, while British duo Bradley Smith and Scott Redding will share the third row with Marquez.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap
1. Simone Corsi Ioda FTR 1m54.343s
2. Pol Espargaro Pons Kalex 1m54.534s + 0.191s
3. Andrea Iannone Speed Master Speed Up 1m54.618s + 0.275s
4. Claudio Corti Italtrans Kalex 1m54.712s + 0.369s
5. Jordi Torres Aspar Suter 1m54.787s + 0.444s
6. Nicolas Terol Aspar Suter 1m54.828s + 0.485s
7. Marc Marquez Monlau Suter 1m54.877s + 0.534s
8. Bradley Smith Tech 3 1m54.899s + 0.556s
9. Scott Redding Marc VDS Kalex 1m54.925s + 0.582s
10. Johann Zarco JIR Motobi 1m54.993s + 0.650s
11. Esteve Rabat Pons Kalex 1m55.074s + 0.731s
12. Mika Kallio Marc VDS Kalex 1m55.224s + 0.881s
13. Takaaki Nakagami Italtrans Kalex 1m55.235s + 0.892s
14. Axel Pons Pons Kalex 1m55.275s + 0.932s
15. Xavier Simeon Tech 3 1m55.445s + 1.102s
16. Yuki Takahashi Forward Suter 1m55.445s + 1.102s
17. Mike di Meglio Speed Master Speed Up 1m55.473s + 1.130s
18. Alex de Angelis Forward Suter 1m55.510s + 1.167s
19. Thomas Luthi Paddock Suter 1m55.617s + 1.274s
20. Anthony West QMMF Moriwaki 1m55.875s + 1.532s
21. Julian Simon Avintia FTR 1m55.951s + 1.608s
22. Gino Rea Gresini Moriwaki 1m56.112s + 1.769s
23. Dominique Aegerter Technomag-CIP Suter 1m56.129s + 1.786s
24. Alex Marinelarena Motorsport Suter 1m56.661s + 2.318s
25. Marcel Schrotter SAG Bimota 1m56.695s + 2.352s
26. Ratthapark Wilairot Gresini Moriwaki 1m57.158s + 2.815s
27. Steven Odendaal Arguinano AJR 1m57.299s + 2.956s
28. Tomoyoshi Koyama Technomag-CIP Suter 1m57.370s + 3.027s
29. Eric Granada JIR Motobi 1m57.462s + 3.119s
30. Alessandro Andreozzi Speed Master Speed Up 1m57.925s + 3.582s
31. Elena Rosell QMMF Moriwaki 1m58.367s + 4.024s
32. Jesko Raffin Switzerland GP Kalex 1m59.177s + 4.834s
33. Marco Colandrea SAG FTR 1m59.477s + 5.134s