Pol Espargaro did everything he could to keep his dwindling Moto2 championship hopes alive by taking a comfortable pole at Phillip Island.
Pons rider Espargaro is 48 points adrift of MotoGP-bound rival Marc Marquez with just two races to go and 50 points available.
Espargaro took provisional pole with a 1m33.705s shortly before a rain shower curtailed the action just after qualifying's halfway point.
Although sunshine returned before the end, none of the front-runners managed to improve, leaving Espargaro on pole by half a second.
Final practice pacesetter Scott Redding took second for Marc VDS, escaping a huge moment on his last bid to depose Espargaro. Marquez took the final front-row spot, ahead of Tom Luthi, Takaaki Nakagai and Randy Krummenacher on row two.
Home favorite Anthony West looked set for seventh until crashing on the approach to MG corner in the final minutes. He was pushed back to ninth by Johann Zarco and Andrea Iannone.
Last year's Phillip Island Moto2 winner Alex de Angelis was only 22nd fastest and could be in doubt for the race after crashing at Siberia corner in the closing stages.
The Forward rider appeared to get his hand caught under his FTR machine as he fell and was in clear pain afterwards.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap
1. Pol Espargaro Pons Kalex 1m33.705s
2. Scott Redding Marc VDS Kalex 1m34.264s + 0.559s
3. Marc Marquez Monlau Suter 1m34.408s + 0.703s
4. Thomas Luthi Paddock Suter 1m34.513s + 0.808s
5. Takaaki Nakagami Italtrans Kalex 1m34.541s + 0.836s
6. Randy Krummenacher Switzerland Kalex 1m34.596s + 0.891s
7. Johann Zarco JIR Motobi 1m34.696s + 0.991s
8. Andrea Iannone Speed Master Speed Up 1m34.714s + 1.009s
9. Anthony West QMMF Speed Up 1m34.765s + 1.060s
10. Esteve Rabat Pons Kalex 1m34.900s + 1.195s
11. Simone Corsi Ioda FTR 1m34.973s + 1.268s
12. Dominique Aegerter Technomag-CIP Suter 1m35.020s + 1.315s
13. Axel Pons Pons Kalex 1m35.052s + 1.347s
14. Mika Kallio Marc VDS Kalex 1m35.071s + 1.366s
15. Bradley Smith Tech 3 1m35.169s + 1.464s
16. Xavier Simeon Tech 3 1m35.310s + 1.605s
17. Julian Simon Avintia Suter 1m35.466s + 1.761s
18. Toni Elias Italtrans Kalex 1m35.546s + 1.841s
19. Mike di Meglio Kiefer Kalex 1m35.589s + 1.884s
20. Jordi Torres Aspar Suter 1m35.609s + 1.904s
21. Ricard Cardus Arguinano AJR 1m35.864s + 2.159s
22. Alex de Angelis Forward FTR 1m35.906s + 2.201s
23. Ratthapark Wilairot Gresini Suter 1m36.026s + 2.321s
24. Gino Rea Gresini Suter 1m36.163s + 2.458s
25. Marcel Schrotter SAG Bimota 1m36.242s + 2.537s
26. Nicolas Terol Aspar Suter 1m36.550s + 2.845s
27. Alessandro Andreozzi Speed Master Speed Up 1m37.293s + 3.588s
28. Yuki Takahashi Forward FTR 1m37.436s + 3.731s
29. Tomoyoshi Koyama Technomag-CIP Suter 1m37.524s + 3.819s
30. Elena Rosell QMMF Speed Up 1m37.829s + 4.124s
31. Marco Colandrea SAG FTR 1m38.266s + 4.561s
32. Eric Granado JIR Motobi 1m40.119s + 6.414s