Mugello winner Marc Marquez denied Bradley Smith a home pole position with a brilliant lap in the final moments of Silverstone 125cc qualifying.
Smith had jumped to the top with his last run and initially looked set to delight the British crowd with his first pole position of a so far low-key year.
But Marquez – already a polesitter twice in 2010 – crossed the line with seconds to spare to start a final pole bid and managed to snatch it away from Smith by 0.3sec with a 2m14.667sec lap.
Pol Espargaro held provisional pole for much of the session before ending up third, just ahead of points leader Nico Terol.
Johann Zarco took a career-best fifth on the grid, with Esteve Rabat grabbing sixth at the end after having countless laps disqualified for excessive use of the run-off areas.
Danny Webb gave the home crowd two Britons in the top eight by taking the final row two spot, next to Tomoyoshi Koyama.
Times to follow