Dani Pedrosa claimed his fourth pole of the season at Misano with a comfortable 0.3-second cushion over championship leader Jorge Lorenzo.
Pedrosa had utterly dominated first practice on Friday, only narrowly missed out on the top spot this morning, and then took the lead of qualifying from Casey Stoner with 25 minutes to go. Apart from a brief spell when Lorenzo's Yamaha pipped him, Honda rider Pedrosa remained on pole thereafter – able to improve his time whenever he was threatened. He put his pole beyond all doubt with a final lap of 1m33.948s, which was 0.308s better than Lorenzo could manage with his last effort.
Stoner crashed early in the session, falling as he slowed for Turn 4. He was quickest at the time and remained on top for the next 15 minutes, but having had to resort to the spare Ducati he ended the final rush only third.
Valentino Rossi missed out on the front row once again and will start fourth on the second works Yamaha, ahead of Ben Spies' Tech 3 example. The Indianapolis polesitter kept beating Pedrosa's times in the first two sectors only to lose ground later in the lap.
A heroic effort from Randy de Puniet got the LCR Honda onto row two in the Frenchman's third race back after breaking his leg in a horrible Sachsenring tangle.
Andrea Dovizioso could only manage eighth on the other factory Honda, sharing row three with Colin Edwards (Tech 3) and Marco Simoncelli (Gresini Honda), with the latter's teammate Marco Melandri completing the top 10.
Loris Capirossi looked set to give Suzuki a top 10 start for much of the hour, until a late jump by Simoncelli pushed him to 11th, ahead of Hector Barbera, who quickly recovered from crashing his Aspar Ducati at Turn 4 during the opening runs.
The most surprising result was that Nicky Hayden was only 14th on the works Ducati. The American struggled throughout the session and never looked like a contender for the front three rows.
Pos Rider Team Time Gap
1. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m33.948s
2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m34.256s + 0.308s
3. Casey Stoner Ducati 1m34.397s + 0.449s
4. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m34.470s + 0.522s
5. Ben Spies Tech 3 Yamaha 1m34.472s + 0.524s
6. Randy de Puniet LCR Honda 1m34.751s + 0.803s
7. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m34.782s + 0.834s
8. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m34.826s + 0.878s
9. Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda 1m34.934s + 0.986s
10. Marco Melandri Gresini Honda 1m35.018s + 1.070s
11. Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1m35.096s + 1.148s
12. Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati 1m35.259s + 1.311s
13. Hiroshi Aoyama Interwetten Honda 1m35.286s + 1.338s
14. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m35.303s + 1.355s
15. Aleix Espargaro Pramac Ducati 1m35.438s + 1.490s
16. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 1m35.629s + 1.681s
17. Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati 1m35.724s + 1.776s