Reigning 250cc world champion Marco Simoncelli will start the category's Czech Grand Prix from pole position after coming out on top of a hard-fought battle with title rivals Hiroshi Aoyama and Hector Barbera.
The Gilera rider produced a breathtaking lap to take pole at the flag, having just made it out of the pits in time to go for a final flying lap after switching tires late on.
Even then he still had to negotiate Alex Debon, on a fast lap himself, to take the top spot away from points leader Aoyama.
Barbera, who had set the pace for much of the weekend, was third quickest having produced his own fastest lap on his final attempt while running in the same gaggle of bikes as Aoyama.
Debon was fourth ahead of 125cc champion Mike di Meglio who was fastest of the Aspar riders after teammate Alvaro Bautista crashed entering the stadium section in similar style that of Valentino Rossi earlier.
The Spaniard ended up qualifying eighth behind veteran rider Roberto Locatelli and Mattia Pasini.
Raffale De Rosa and Karel Abraham completed the top 10.
Pos Rider Bike Time
1. Marco Simoncelli Gilera 2m01.611s
2. Hiroshi Aoyama Honda 2m01.961s + 0.350s
3. Hector Barbera Aprilia 2m02.064s + 0.453s
4. Alex Debon Aprilia 2m02.386s + 0.775s
5. Mike Di Meglio Aprilia 2m02.426s + 0.815s
6. R.Locatelli Gilera 2m02.543s + 0.932s
7. Mattia Pasini Aprilia 2m02.561s + 0.950s
8. Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 2m02.748s + 1.137s
9. Raffaele De Rosa Honda 2m02.768s + 1.157s
10. Karel Abraham Aprilia 2m02.811s + 1.200s
11. Hector Faubel Honda 2m02.899s + 1.288s
12. R.Wilairot Honda 2m02.921s + 1.310s
13. Thomas Luthi Aprilia 2m02.932s + 1.321s
14. Jules Cluzel Aprilia 2m02.997s + 1.386s
15. Lukas Pesek Aprilia 2m03.596s + 1.985s
16. Shoya Tomizawa Honda 2m03.951s + 2.340s
17. Alex Baldolini Aprilia 2m04.100s + 2.489s
18. Bal�zs N�meth Aprilia 2m05.493s + 3.882s
19. Axel Pons Aprilia 2m06.350s + 4.739s
20. Valentin Debise Honda 2m06.571s + 4.960s
21. Bastien Chesaux Honda 2m07.088s + 5.477s
22. Imre Toth Aprilia 2m07.130s + 5.519s
23. Vladimir Leonov Aprilia 2m08.362s + 6.751s
24. Aitor Rodriguez Aprilia 2m08.600s + 6.989s