Takaaki Nakagami claimed the first pole position of his world championship career in Moto2 qualifying at a wet Le Mans.
All the action was crammed into the opening few minutes, as the rain that had loomed all weekend finally arrived in earnest for the Moto2 session, which began slightly late due to the knock-on delays from the red flag in MotoGP's pre-qualifying practice.
An initial shower eased, suggesting there might be more dry time after all, but the clouds opened properly soon afterward and the field headed to the pits to wait out the remaining half-hour. Nakagami was on top with a 1m38.508s for Italtrans when the rain came and was duly able to secure pole by 0.350 seconds over Marc VDS' Scott Redding.
Johann Zarco completed the front row on his home ground, and had the track to himself for quite a while in the wet when he came out to entertain the local crowd.
Jerez winner and championship leader Tito Rabat headed Xavier Simeon and Nico Terol on row three.
Pre-season title favourite Pol Espargaro was left in seventh, followed by Tom Luthi, Mattia Pasini and Mika Kallio.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap
1. Takaaki Nakagami Italtrans Kalex 1m38.508s
2. Scott Redding Marc VDS Kalex 1m38.858s + 0.350
3. Johann Zarco Ioda Suter 1m39.187s + 0.679
4. Esteve Rabat Pons Kalex 1m39.193s + 0.685
5. Xavier Simeon SAG Kalex 1m39.296s + 0.788
6. Nicolas Terol Aspar Suter 1m39.333s + 0.825
7. Pol Espargaro Pons Kalex 1m39.355s + 0.847
8. Thomas Luthi Paddock Suter 1m39.437s + 0.929
9. Mattia Pasini Forward Speed Up 1m39.543s + 1.035
10. Mika Kallio Marc VDS Kalex 1m39.558s + 1.050
11. Anthony West QMMF Speed Up 1m39.571s + 1.063
12. Mike di Meglio JiR Motobi 1m39.599s + 1.091
13. Dominique Aegerter Technomag Suter 1m39.657s + 1.149
14. Toni Elias Avintia Kalex 1m39.721s + 1.213
15. Jordi Torres Aspar Suter 1m39.891s + 1.383
16. Marcel Schrotter SAG Kalex 1m39.994s + 1.486
17. Sandro Cortese Intact Kalex 1m40.011s + 1.503
18. Julian Simon Italtrans Kalex 1m40.013s + 1.505
19. Alex de Angelis Forward Speed Up 1m40.020s + 1.512
20. Ricard Cardus Forward Speed Up 1m40.173s + 1.665
21. Louis Rossi Tech 3 1m40.281s + 1.773
22. Kyle Smith Avintia Kalex 1m40.284s + 1.776
23. Yuki Takahashi Tady Moriwaki 1m40.369s + 1.861
24. Axel Pons Pons Kalex 1m40.487s + 1.979
25. Hafizh Syahrin Petronas Kalex 1m40.498s + 1.990
26. Danny Kent Tech 3 1m40.613s + 2.105
27. Steven Odendaal Arginano Speed Up 1m40.665s + 2.157
28. Ratthapark Wilairot Gresini Suter 1m40.746s + 2.238
29. Alberto Moncayo Arginano Speed Up 1m40.793s + 2.285
30. Simone Corsi Forward Speed Up 1m40.815s + 2.307
31. Gino Rea Rea FTR 1m40.861s + 2.353
32. Randy Krummenacher Technomag Suter 1m41.222s + 2.714
33. Doni Tata Pradita Gresini Suter 1m42.036s + 3.528
34. Rafid Topan Sucipto QMMF Speed Up 1m42.312s + 3.804