Toni Elias took pole position in the first ever qualifying session for the new Moto2 category.
The Spaniard has dropped down from Gresini's MotoGP lineup to its newly-added Moto2 arm this year, and is riding injured having broken bones in his leg and hand in a testing crash.
But that did not stop him coming from behind to beat reigning 125cc champion Julian Simon (Aspar RSV) to pole position at Losail in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Stefan Bradl held provisional pole for a while and ended up third ahead of two more MotoGP converts in Alex de Angelis (Scot) and Yuki Takahasi (Tech 3). Jules Cluzel completed the top six for the championship's inaugural race.