Andrea Iannone took his third Moto2 pole position of the year after the Italian set a scintillating pace in qualifying for the Catalan Grand Prix.
The Italian had run in and around the top five for two thirds of the session, but then found a sudden burst of speed on his Fimmco-run Speed Up to grab pole from Thomas Luthi by half a second in a time of 1m47.493s.
Luthi, who led the timesheets for most of the session, thought he at least had second spot secured on his Interwetten Moriwaki. However, he had not bargained on a late charge from Yuki Takahashi.
The Tech 3 rider looked on course to challenge Iannone on what was an outstanding lap in the final minute, but he lost crucial tenths in the final sector while bottled up behind newcomer Carmelo Morales, and had to be content with second.
Behind Luthi, world championship leader Toni Elias secured the final spot on the front row on his Gresini Moriwaki.
Silverstone winner Jules Cluzel (Forward Racing Suter) and Morales, who is substituting at the Pons Kalex team for the injured Stefan Bradl, were next up while Shoya Tomizawa (Technomag Suter) ended up sixth after crashing at Turn Five with a few minutes remaining.
The top 10 was completed by Kenny Noyes (Jack & Jones Promo Harris), Roberto Rolfo (STR Suter) and reigning 125cc World Champion Julian Simon (Aspar Suter).
Pos Driver Bike Time Gap
1. Andrea Iannone Speed Up 1m47.493s
2. Yuki Takahashi Tech 3 1m47.760s + 0.267s
3. Thomas Luthi Moriwaki 1m47.973s + 0.480s
4. Toni Elias Moriwaki 1m48.089s + 0.596s
5. Jules Cluzel Suter 1m48.133s + 0.640s
6. Carmelo Morales Pons Kalex 1m48.164s + 0.671s
7. Shoya Tomizawa Suter 1m48.192s + 0.699s
8. Ratthapark Wilairot Bimota 1m48.224s + 0.731s
9. Kenny Noyes Promoharris 1m48.291s + 0.798s
10. Roberto Rolfo Suter 1m48.366s + 0.873s
11. Julian Simon Suter 1m48.373s + 0.880s
12. Karel Abraham FTR 1m48.438s + 0.945s
13. Simone Corsi Motobi 1m48.447s + 0.954s
14. Scott Redding Suter 1m48.480s + 0.987s
15. Hector Faubel Suter 1m48.491s + 0.998s
16. Dominique Aegerter Suter 1m48.495s + 1.002s
17. Fonsi Nieto Moriwaki 1m48.563s + 1.070s
18. Sergio Gadea Pons Kalex 1m48.571s + 1.078s
19. Arne Tode Suter 1m48.587s + 1.094s
20. Alex Debon FTR 1m48.613s + 1.120s
21. Mike di Meglio Suter 1m48.620s + 1.127s
22. Raffaele de Rosa Tech 3 1m48.621s + 1.128s
23. Yonny Hernandez BQR 1m48.640s + 1.147s
24. Lukas Pesek Moriwaki 1m48.677s + 1.184s
25. Jordi Torres Promoharris 1m48.745s + 1.252s
26. Alex Baldolini ICP 1m48.803s + 1.310s
27. Ricard Cardus Suter 1m48.807s + 1.314s
28. Dani Rivas Promoharris 1m48.888s + 1.395s
29. Anthony West MZ 1m48.928s + 1.435s
30. Alex de Angelis Force 1m48.942s + 1.449s
31. Vladimir Ivanov Moriwaki 1m49.036s + 1.543s
32. Gabor Talmacsi Speed Up 1m49.047s + 1.554s
33. Niccolo Canepa Force 1m49.131s + 1.638s
34. Xavier Simeon Moriwaki 1m49.169s + 1.676s
35. Bernat Martinez Bimota 1m49.188s + 1.695s
36. Yusuke Teshima Motobi 1m49.209s + 1.716s
37. Claudio Corti Suter 1m49.272s + 1.779s
38. Joan Olive Promoharris 1m49.314s + 1.821s
39. Valentin Debise ADV 1m49.439s + 1.946s
40. Mashel Al Naimi BQR 1m49.723s + 2.230s
41. Vladimir Leonov Suter 1m50.150s + 2.657s
42. Robertino Pietri Suter 1m50.183s + 2.690s