Valentino Rossi snatched pole position from Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo with an incredible final lap in the rain at the Sachsenring.
Just when proceedings looked settled in the young Spaniard's favor, and with the one hour session time already expired, the championship leader pulled together the perfect lap of 1m32.520s to beat Lorenzo's time by a massive 0.64 second.
Casey Stoner completes the front row, despite his Ducati being over 1.2sec slower than the leading Yamaha. The Australian will start just in front of teammate Nicky Hayden, who seems to have come to grips with his machinery in these last couple of weeks.
The Kentuckian, however, was at the center of a scary accident with eight minutes remaining. While overtaking Niccolo Canepa on a left-hander, he lost control of his bike and suffered a high-side that flung his body onto the Italian's back. Both riders crashed in the gravel on the outside of Turn 7, with Pramac Ducati's Canepa needing the help of a stretcher to leave the scene.
That same turn saw many other riders crashing viciously during the session: first it was Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda), then it was Canepa on his own, followed by Marco Melandri (Hayate Kawasaki), and Gresini Honda team-mates Toni Elias and Alex de Angelis within five minutes of each other.
After the Hayden-Canepa crash, Dani Pedrosa also went off at the same spot, but managed to stay on his Honda, while Loris Capirossi crashed his Suzuki when time ran out.
De Angelis and de Puniet will round up the second row of the grid alongside Hayden, followed by Colin Edwards's Tech 3 Yamaha and Pedrosa. Capirossi will start the race from the ninth spot, ahead of Mika Kallio (Pramac Ducati) in 10th.TIMES:
Pos Rider Bike Time Gap
1. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m32.520s
2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m33.160s + 0.640s
3. Casey Stoner Ducati 1m33.759s + 1.239s
4. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m34.404s + 1.884s
5. Alex de Angelis Gresini Honda 1m34.490s + 1.970s
6. Randy de Puniet LCR Honda 1m34.564s + 2.044s
7. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m34.607s + 2.087s
8. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m34.725s + 2.205s
9. Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1m34.741s + 2.221s
10. Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati 1m34.771s + 2.251s
11. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m34.892s + 2.372s
12. Chris Vermeulen Suzuki 1m34.937s + 2.417s
13. Marco Melandri Hayate Kawasaki 1m34.938s + 2.418s
14. James Toseland Tech 3 Yamaha 1m35.005s + 2.485s
15. Niccolo Canepa Pramac Ducati 1m36.012s + 3.492s
16. Gabor Talmacsi Scot Honda 1m36.055s + 3.535s
17. Toni Elias Gresini Honda 1m36.531s + 4.011s