Pol Espargaro did everything he could to keep his dwindling Moto2 championship hopes alive by taking a comfortable pole at Phillip Island.
Pons rider Espargaro is 48 points adrift of MotoGP-bound rival Marc Marquez with just two races to go and 50 points available.
Espargaro took provisional pole with a 1m33.705s shortly before a rain shower curtailed the action just after qualifying's halfway point.
Although sunshine returned before the end, none of the frontrunners managed to improve, leaving Espargaro on pole by half a second.
Final practice pacesetter Scott Redding took second for Marc VDS, escaping a huge moment on his last bid to depose Espargaro.
Marquez took the final front-row spot, ahead of Tom Luthi, Takaaki Nakagami and Randy Krummenacher on row two.
Home favourite Anthony West looked set for seventh until crashing on the approach to MG corner in the final minutes. He was pushed back to ninth by Johann Zarco and Andrea Iannone.
Last year's Phillip Island Moto2 winner Alex de Angelis crashed at Siberia corner in the closing stages and will miss Sunday's race as a result of his injuries.
The Forward rider appeared to get his hand caught under his FTR machine as he fell and was in clear pain afterwards. He was later found to have fractured at least one finger and was taken to the local Epworth Hospital for surgery.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap 1. Pol Espargaro Pons Kalex 1m33.705s 2. Scott Redding Marc VDS Kalex 1m34.264s + 0.559s 3. Marc Marquez Monlau Suter 1m34.408s + 0.703s 4. Thomas Luthi Paddock Suter 1m34.513s + 0.808s 5. Takaaki Nakagami Italtrans Kalex 1m34.541s + 0.836s 6. Randy Krummenacher Switzerland Kalex 1m34.596s + 0.891s 7. Johann Zarco JIR Motobi 1m34.696s + 0.991s 8. Andrea Iannone Speed Master Speed Up 1m34.714s + 1.009s 9. Anthony West QMMF Speed Up 1m34.765s + 1.060s 10. Esteve Rabat Pons Kalex 1m34.900s + 1.195s 11. Simone Corsi Ioda FTR 1m34.973s + 1.268s 12. Dominique Aegerter Technomag-CIP Suter 1m35.020s + 1.315s 13. Axel Pons Pons Kalex 1m35.052s + 1.347s 14. Mika Kallio Marc VDS Kalex 1m35.071s + 1.366s 15. Bradley Smith Tech 3 1m35.169s + 1.464s 16. Xavier Simeon Tech 3 1m35.310s + 1.605s 17. Julian Simon Avintia Suter 1m35.466s + 1.761s 18. Toni Elias Italtrans Kalex 1m35.546s + 1.841s 19. Mike di Meglio Kiefer Kalex 1m35.589s + 1.884s 20. Jordi Torres Aspar Suter 1m35.609s + 1.904s 21. Ricard Cardus Arguinano AJR 1m35.864s + 2.159s 22. Alex de Angelis Forward FTR 1m35.906s + 2.201s 23. Ratthapark Wilairot Gresini Suter 1m36.026s + 2.321s 24. Gino Rea Gresini Suter 1m36.163s + 2.458s 25. Marcel Schrotter SAG Bimota 1m36.242s + 2.537s 26. Nicolas Terol Aspar Suter 1m36.550s + 2.845s 27. Alessandro Andreozzi Speed Master Speed Up 1m37.293s + 3.588s 28. Yuki Takahashi Forward FTR 1m37.436s + 3.731s 29. Tomoyoshi Koyama Technomag-CIP Suter 1m37.524s + 3.819s 30. Elena Rosell QMMF Speed Up 1m37.829s + 4.124s 31. Marco Colandrea SAG FTR 1m38.266s + 4.561s 32. Eric Granado JIR Motobi 1m40.119s + 6.414s