Marc Marquez took his second Moto2 pole position in a hard-fought wet qualifying at Mugello.
The track was never dry enough for slicks, but did get increasingly quick as the session progressed, which meant a constant stream of changes at the front in the final stages.
Marquez hit the front in the closing minutes, was usurped by Alex de Angelis, and then fought back with a 2m05.312s right at the end to take pole by half a second.
When the track was at its wettest, Bradley Smith had fought for provisional pole with Kenan Sofuoglu. The Turk was pushed right back to 13th in the end, but Smith stayed among the leaders and secured his first Moto2 front row start in third.
Fellow Tech 3 man Xavier Simeon took an impressive fourth, heading Randy Krummenacher and Pol Espargaro on row two as all three claimed their best Moto2 grid positions yet.
Championship leader Stefan Bradl languished in the midfield for a long while before jumping to third. He looked like he might do better still before a mechanical problem forced him to abandon his last run, after which he was shuffled back to seventh as others improved.
Anthony West and Andrea Iannone were other men who flew in the worst of the weather before falling back, ending up 10th and 14th.
Regular frontrunners starting lower than usual include Michele Pirro in 21st, Simone Corsi in 23rd, Tom Luthi in 24th and Jules Cluzel in 33rd.