Dani Pedrosa took a surprise Italian Grand Prix pole position at Mugello as Jorge Lorenzo aborted a late lap that looked certain to give the MotoGP points leader the top spot.
Lorenzo had been quickest in all three practice sessions and for the majority of qualifying. Pedrosa edged 0.058 seconds ahead of him with a 1m47.365s in the closing minutes, but Lorenzo's Yamaha was on course to depose the Honda for the first three sectors of his final lap before abandoning it and angrily pulling into the pits, slamming his hand on the front of his bike in displeasure as he did so.
In a session full of surprises, Pramac Ducati Hector Barbera secured the first front row start of his MotoGP career in third place, beatings works Ducati rider Nicky Hayden.
Honda's Casey Stoner was only fifth, having been off the pace throughout the hour. The Australian never looked like a pole contender, having also been unhappy with his bike in Friday practice.
Cal Crutchlow recovered from a late crash at the Correntaio corner to beat Tech 3 Yamaha team-mate Andrea Dovizioso to sixth with his last lap.
Ben Spies had a similar accident to Crutchlow on the second works Yamaha, and could only qualify ninth, between Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) and Valentino Rossi (Ducati).
Alvaro Bautista's miserable weekend continued as he took 11th on the Gresini Honda.
Aleix Espargaro beat Aspar Aprilia team-mate Randy de Puniet by just 0.063s in the battle for CRT honours.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap
1. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m47.284s
2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m47.423s + 0.139s
3. Hector Barbera Pramac Ducati 1m47.545s + 0.261s
4. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m47.671s + 0.387s
5. Casey Stoner Honda 1m47.689s + 0.405s
6. Andrea Dovizioso Tech 3 Yamaha 1m47.749s + 0.465s
7. Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 1m47.751s + 0.467s
8. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 1m47.857s + 0.573s
9. Ben Spies Yamaha 1m48.149s + 0.865s
10. Valentino Rossi Ducati 1m48.502s + 1.218s
11. Alvaro Bautista Gresini Honda 1m48.894s + 1.610s
12. Aleix Espargaro Aspar Aprilia 1m49.387s + 2.103s
13. Randy de Puniet Aspar Aprilia 1m49.450s + 2.166s
14. Michele Pirro Gresini FTR-Honda 1m50.263s + 2.979s
15. Yonny Hernandez Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m50.610s + 3.326s
16. James Ellison Paul Bird Aprilia 1m50.812s + 3.528s
17. Mattia Pasini Speed Master Aprilia 1m50.953s + 3.669s
18. Ivan Silva Avintia Inmotec-Kawasaki 1m51.242s + 3.958s
19. Colin Edwards Forward Suter-BMW 1m51.348s + 4.064s
20. Danilo Petrucci Ioda-Aprilia 1m51.473s + 4.189s