Marc Marquez's domination of Moto2 qualifying continued at Catalunya as he sealed his fourth consecutive pole position by almost two tenths of a second.
The Spaniard had made a quiet start to his weekend in practice, but come qualifying was once again a force at the front, leading into the final 10 minutes when the majority of the frontrunners exited the pitlane in unison.
Championship leader Pol Espargaro (Pons Kalex) held first place for a fleeting moment but Marquez was soon back on top. The Monlau Suter man then shaved off almost one tenth from his own benchmark to move further clear of the field and ultimately claim a fourth pole in the opening five races.
Espargaro's effort was enough to hold second ahead of Thomas Luthi (Paddock Suter), the only man other than Marquez to have started from the front in 2012.
Andrea Iannone (Speed Master Speed Up) was the last man to get within three tenths of a second of Marquez's time, Simone Corsi (Ioda FTR) ending the session in fifth, 0.629s down.
Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP Suter) and Scott Redding (Marc VDS Kalex) both got within five hundredths of Corsi's time, ending sixth and seventh.
Toni Elias (Aspar Suter) and Esteve Rabat (Pons Kalex) completed the third row.
Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Kalex) crashed with Ricard Cardus 15 minutes from the session's end, dropping outside the top 10 to 12th as a result.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap
1. Marc Marquez Monlau Suter 1m46.187s
2. Pol Espargaro Pons Kalex 1m46.382s + 0.195s
3. Thomas Luthi Paddock Suter 1m46.430s + 0.243s
4. Andrea Iannone Speed Master Speed Up 1m46.477s + 0.290s
5. Simone Corsi Ioda FTR 1m46.816s + 0.629s
6. Dominique Aegerter Technomag-CIP Suter 1m46.844s + 0.657s
7. Scott Redding Marc VDS Kalex 1m46.866s + 0.679s
8. Toni Elias Aspar Suter 1m47.107s + 0.920s
9. Esteve Rabat Pons Kalex 1m47.107s + 0.920s
10. Alex de Angelis Forward Suter 1m47.115s + 0.928s
11. Jordi Torres Tech 3 1m47.239s + 1.052s
12. Takaaki Nakagami Italtrans Kalex 1m47.275s + 1.088s
13. Bradley Smith Tech 3 1m47.423s + 1.236s
14. Johann Zarco JIR Motobi 1m47.427s + 1.240s
15. Nicolas Terol Aspar Suter 1m47.468s + 1.281s
16. Claudio Corti Italtrans Kalex 1m47.583s + 1.396s
17. Julian Simon Avintia Suter 1m47.631s + 1.444s
18. Roberto Rolfo Technomag-CIP Suter 1m47.646s + 1.459s
19. Mika Kallio Marc VDS Kalex 1m47.654s + 1.467s
20. Randy Krummenacher Switzerland Kalex 1m47.753s + 1.566s
21. Angel Rodriguez SAG Bimota 1m47.841s + 1.654s
22. Yuki Takahashi Forward Suter 1m47.843s + 1.656s
23. Gino Rea Gresini Suter 1m48.041s + 1.854s
24. Mike di Meglio Speed Master Speed Up 1m48.060s + 1.873s
25. Ricard Cardus Arguinano AJR 1m48.074s + 1.887s
26. Max Neukirchner Kiefer Kalex 1m48.090s + 1.903s
27. Ratthapark Wilairot Gresini Suter 1m48.096s + 1.909s
28. Axel Pons Pons Kalex 1m48.453s + 2.266s
29. Anthony West QMMF Moriwaki 1m48.751s + 2.564s
30. Alexander Lundh MZ 1m49.081s + 2.894s
31. Marco Colandrea SAG FTR 1m49.740s + 3.553s
32. Elena Rosell QMMF Moriwaki 1m50.478s + 4.291s