Gabriele Tarquini will start Sunday's first World Touring Car race at Okayama from the front after securing his fifth pole position of the season in today's qualifying session.
The championship leader set the pace on the first run of Q2 before knocking another three tenths off his time on his final lap to claim pole – his third in a row.
He will start alongside BMW's Andy Priaulx, who delivered his best lap of the weekend so far on his only lap in Q2. Fellow BMW driver Jorg Muller will start third, ahead of SEAT's Rickard Rydell and his Schnitzer teammate Augusto Farfus.
Jordi Gene qualified fifth, while Tarquini's title rival, Yvan Muller, could only manage seventh after failing to improve by as much as his rivals on his final effort in Q2. Tiago Monteiro and the Chevrolets of Rob Huff and Alain Menu complete the top 10.
Sergio Hernandez was the first driver to miss out on a place in Q2, setting the 11th quickest time in Q1 following an earlier engine change.
Independent championship leader Tom Coronel qualified first in class in 12th place overall, just ahead of James Thompson in the first of the Ladas.
Nicola Larini could only manage 14th in his Chevrolet, while Alex Zanardi was just 16th in his works BMW. The pair sandwiched independent BMW racer Felix Porteiro.
Norbertu Taniguchi qualified best of the guest drivers in his BMW in 18th, with fellow Super GT regular Seiji Ara 20th.
Pos Driver Car Q1 Q2
1. Gabriele Tarquini SEAT 1m38.168s 1m37.666s
2. Andy Priaulx BMW 1m38.117s 1m37.716s
3. Jorg Muller BMW 1m37.914s 1m37.726s
4. Rickard Rydell SEAT 1m38.149s 1m37.799s
5. Augusto Farfus BMW 1m38.323s 1m37.826s
6. Jordi Gene SEAT 1m38.017s 1m37.835s
7. Yvan Muller SEAT 1m38.255s 1m37.978s
8. Tiago Monteiro SEAT 1m38.202s 1m38.119s
9. Rob Huff Chevrolet 1m38.900s 1m38.620s
10. Alain Menu Chevrolet 1m38.460s 1m39.110s
11. Sergio Hernandez BMW 1m39.043s
12. Tom Coronel SEAT 1m39.078s
13. James Thompson Lada 1m39.106s
14. Nicola Larini Chevrolet 1m39.126s
15. Felix Porteiro BMW 1m39.159s
16. Alex Zanardi BMW 1m39.186s
17. Stefano D'Aste BMW 1m39.395s
18. Norbertu Taniguchi BMW 1m39.469s
19. Jaap van Lagen Lada 1m39.498s
20. Seiji Ara BMW 1m39.549s
21. Joao Paulo de Oliveira SEAT 1m39.643s
22. Franz Engstler BMW 1m39.672s
23. Tom Boardman SEAT 1m39.823s
24. Kristian Poulsen BMW 1m40.112s
25. Kirill Ladygin Lada 1m40.786s
26. Henry Ho BMW 1m41.536s
27. Masaki Kano BMW 1m42.427s