MotoGP championship leader Casey Stoner led Dani Pedrosa in a Honda one-two in qualifying for the German Grand Prix.
Stoner had kept a low profile in practice, but was in superb form in the decisive part of qualifying, taking provisional pole with a 1m21.808s and then improving to a 1min21.681sec in the final moments.
Both laps were out of Stoner's rivals' reach, with Pedrosa taking second on a 1m21.933s.
An all-Honda front row looked likely until Jorge Lorenzo put his Yamaha up to third on his last lap, pushing the Gresini bike of Marco Simoncelli back to fourth - ending the Italian's run of front row starts.. The second works Yamaha of Ben Spies completed the top five.
Valentino Rossi's decline continued as he fell to his worst grid position of this tough season so far in 16th. The only man the seven-time MotoGP champion outpaced was returnee Sylvain Guintoli, who is substituting for the injured Loris Capirossi at Pramac Ducati this weekend.
Nicky Hayden at least got up to eighth on the other works Ducati, behind Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) and Colin Edwards (Tech 3 Yamaha). Randy de Puniet's Pramac Ducati and Alvaro Bautista's Suzuki completed the top 10.
Tech 3's Cal Crutchlow had a nasty fall at Turn 8 late on but was able to walk away, while Karel Abraham crashed both his primary and spare Cardion Ducatis yet still managed 13th on the grid.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap
1. Casey Stoner Honda 1m21.681s
2. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m21.933s + 0.252s
3. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m21.944s + 0.263s
4. Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda 1m21.954s + 0.273s
5. Ben Spies Yamaha 1m22.056s + 0.375s
6. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m22.157s + 0.476s
7. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m22.368s + 0.687s
8. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m22.388s + 0.707s
9. Randy de Puniet Pramac Ducati 1m22.503s + 0.822s
10. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 1m22.604s + 0.923s
11. Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati 1m22.676s + 0.995s
12. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 1m22.676s + 0.995s
13. Karel Abraham Cardion Ducati 1m23.164s + 1.483s
14. Toni Elias LCR Honda 1m23.201s + 1.520s
15. Hiroshi Aoyama Gresini Honda 1m23.248s + 1.567s
16. Valentino Rossi Ducati 1m23.320s + 1.639s
17. Sylvain Guintoli Pramac Ducati 1m24.707s + 3.026s