Marc Marquez sealed his sixth Moto2 pole position of the season with a last-gasp effort in mixed conditions at the Sachsenring.
As had been the case in MotoGP qualifying, track conditions started out wet but improved as the session developed, with several riders improving as the chequered flag flew.
Marquez was the prime example, the Monlau Suter rider jumping up to provisional pole with a 1m34.503s, putting him less than five hundredths of a second clear of Julian Simon's Avintia FTR.
Simon had been involved in a two-way fight for pole with Tech 3's Xavier Simeon until that moment. Simeon was in the hunt for pole when he fell on his final lap, ending his bid. As he did so, he was also demoted into fourth by Mika Kallio on the Marc VDS Kalex.
In contrast to Kallio, team-mate Scott Redding - on the podium in the past two races - suffered horribly in the conditions and will start Sunday's race from a season low of 26th.
Redding was not the only frontrunner to suffer. Andrea Iannone (Speed Master Speed Up), second to Marquez in the championship, wound up 10th, while Pol Espargaro (Pons Kalex), who has won twice this year, could only manage 17th.
Espargaro did well to hold onto a huge high-side moment in the final two minutes, one of several incidents during the session.
Gino Rea (Gresini Moriwaki) just beat Thomas Luthi (Paddock Suter) to fifth - 0.037s all there was to choose between the pair - while Anthony West (QMMF Moriwaki) and Alex de Angelis (Forward Suter) rounded out the top eight.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap 1. Marc Marquez Monlau Suter 1m34.503s 2. Julian Simon Avintia FTR 1m34.548s + 0.045s 3. Mika Kallio Marc VDS Kalex 1m34.639s + 0.136s 4. Xavier Simeon Tech 3 1m34.686s + 0.183s 5. Gino Rea Gresini Moriwaki 1m34.908s + 0.405s 6. Thomas Luthi Paddock Suter 1m34.945s + 0.442s 7. Anthony West QMMF Moriwaki 1m35.110s + 0.607s 8. Alex de Angelis Forward Suter 1m35.234s + 0.731s 9. Bradley Smith Tech 3 1m35.238s + 0.735s 10. Andrea Iannone Speed Master Speed Up 1m35.320s + 0.817s 11. Yuki Takahashi Forward Suter 1m35.358s + 0.855s 12. Ricard Cardus Arguinano AJR 1m35.559s + 1.056s 13. Simone Corsi Ioda FTR 1m35.702s + 1.199s 14. Johann Zarco JIR Motobi 1m35.733s + 1.230s 15. Dominique Aegerter Technomag-CIP Suter 1m35.777s + 1.274s 16. Ratthapark Wilairot Gresini Moriwaki 1m35.819s + 1.316s 17. Pol Espargaro Pons Kalex 1m35.976s + 1.473s 18. Toni Elias Aspar Suter 1m36.041s + 1.538s 19. Claudio Corti Italtrans Kalex 1m36.386s + 1.883s 20. Randy Krummenacher Switzerland Kalex 1m36.407s + 1.904s 21. Takaaki Nakagami Italtrans Kalex 1m36.461s + 1.958s 22. Max Neukirchner Kiefer Kalex 1m36.471s + 1.968s 23. Damian Cudlin SAG Bimota 1m36.532s + 2.029s 24. Nicolas Terol Aspar Suter 1m36.707s + 2.204s 25. Alessandro Andreozzi Speed Master Speed Up 1m37.072s + 2.569s 26. Scott Redding Marc VDS Kalex 1m37.588s + 3.085s 27. Esteve Rabat Pons Kalex 1m37.723s + 3.220s 28. Eric Granado JIR Motobi 1m37.921s + 3.418s 29. Kevin Wahr Kiefer IAMT 1m38.493s + 3.990s 30. Markus Reiterberger MZ Racing FTR 1m38.697s + 4.194s 31. Roberto Rolfo Technomag-CIP Suter 1m38.703s + 4.200s 32. Marco Colandrea SAG FTR 1m39.273s + 4.770s 33. Axel Pons Pons Kalex 1m39.301s + 4.798s 34. Elena Rosell QMMF Moriwaki 1m39.716s + 5.213s