Bradley Smith beat 125cc championship leader Marc Marquez to pole position at Misano with an outstanding final lap.
Smith had fought with Spanish title-contending trio Marquez, Nico Terol and Pol Espargaro throughout the session, but until the closing moments it looked like it was Ajo Derbi's Marquez who was on course for his eighth pole of the year.
Aspar Aprilia rider Smith had a small moment on his penultimate lap and failed to depose Marquez, then hit traffic on his final attempt. However, he got through the slower riders rapidly enough, tucked in behind one to get a tow to the line, and improved to 1m43.329sec to claim his second pole in three rounds.
Marquez could only get within 0.158sec of Smith so had to settle for second, while Terol (Aspar) and Espargaro (Tuenti Derbi) swapped positions repeatedly before ending up third and fourth.
Tomoyoshi Koyama was best of the rest in fifth on the Team Germany Aprilia, with Marquez and Espargaro's respective teammates Sandro Cortese and Efren Vazquez next up ahead of Esteve Rabat.
Pos Rider Bike Time Gap
1. Bradley Smith Aprilia 1m43.329s
2. Marc Marquez Derbi 1m43.487s + 0.158s
3. Nicolas Terol Aprilia 1m43.644s + 0.315s
4. Pol Espargaro Derbi 1m43.809s + 0.480s
5. Tomoyoshi Koyama Aprilia 1m44.272s + 0.943s
6. Sandro Cortese Derbi 1m44.341s + 1.012s
7. Efren Vazquez Derbi 1m44.479s + 1.150s
8. Esteve Rabat Aprilia 1m44.561s + 1.232s
9. Danny Webb Aprilia 1m44.816s + 1.487s
10. Johann Zarco Aprilia 1m44.929s + 1.600s
11. Jonas Folger Aprilia 1m44.975s + 1.646s
12. Luis Salom Aprilia 1m45.020s + 1.691s
13. Randy Krummenacher Aprilia 1m45.103s + 1.774s
14. Alberto Moncayo Aprilia 1m45.166s + 1.837s
15. Simone Grotzkyj Aprilia 1m45.217s + 1.888s
16. Adrian Martin Aprilia 1m45.661s + 2.332s
17. Jasper Iwema Aprilia 1m46.048s + 2.719s
18. Marcel Schrotter Honda 1m46.309s + 2.980s
19. Jakub Kornfeil Aprilia 1m46.366s + 3.037s
20. Zulfahmi Khairuddin Aprilia 1m46.368s + 3.039s
21. Louis Rossi Aprilia 1m46.557s + 3.228s
22. Armando Pontone Aprilia 1m46.916s + 3.587s
23. Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 1m46.932s + 3.603s
24. Luca Marconi Aprilia 1m46.940s + 3.611s
25. Alessandro Tonucci Aprilia 1m47.235s + 3.906s
26. Francesco Mauriello Aprilia 1m47.455s + 4.126s
27. Tommaso Gabrielli Aprilia 1m47.732s + 4.403s
28. Joan Perello Lambretta 1m47.809s + 4.480s
29. Marco Ravaioli Lambretta 1m47.973s + 4.644s
30. Alexis Masbou Aprilia 1m48.111s + 4.782s
31. Sturla Fagerhaug Aprilia 1m48.324s + 4.995s
32. Giovanni Bonati Aprilia 1m48.346s + 5.017s