Andrea Iannone will start his home Moto2 race from pole position after outpacing his rivals by over a quarter of a second in qualifying at Mugello.
Iannone conjured up a 1m55.598s lap from out of nowhere on his Speed Up machine for his first Moto2 pole position, 0.26 seconds quicker than points leader Toni Elias (Moriwaki).
"I'm really happy because we had quite a few problems in morning practice," said Iannone. "I wanted to send out a big 'get well soon' to Valentino [Rossi] as well."
Elias languished outside the top 10 for much of the session, and was lucky to escape the gravel trap in the Turn 1 run-off, before a last-gasp effort netted him second with a 1m55.858s.
"It's been a difficult weekend," said Elias. "We have struggled with the balance of the bike. But it's a good position to start for tomorrow."
Hungarian rider Gabor Talmacsi was the early pacesetter, but he crashed at Borgo San Lorenzo, and slumped to seventh as late improvements knocked him down the order.
Another frontrunner to crash was Julian Simon, who fell at Aribbiata on his final lap and will start 10th.
Alex de Angelis will start third on his Scot-run bike, despite a front-brake problem, ahead of Jules Cluzel (Suter) and team-mate Shoya Tomizawa. Sergio Gadea claimed sixth, followed by Talmacsi and Axel Pons.
Pos Rider Bike Time Gap 1. Andrea Iannone Speed Up 1m55.598s 2. Toni Elias Moriwaki 1m55.858s + 0.260s 3. Alex de Angelis Scot 1m56.222s + 0.624s 4. Jules Cluzel Suter 1m56.272s + 0.674s 5. Shoya Tomizawa Suter 1m56.284s + 0.686s 6. Sergio Gadea Pons Kalex 1m56.296s + 0.698s 7. Gabor Talmacsi Speed Up 1m56.305s + 0.707s 8. Axel Pons Pons Kalex 1m56.331s + 0.733s 9. Thomas Luthi Moriwaki 1m56.339s + 0.741s 10. Julian Simon Suter 1m56.343s + 0.745s 11. Alex Baldolini ICP 1m56.388s + 0.790s 12. Hector Faubel Suter 1m56.443s + 0.845s 13. Xavier Simeon Moriwaki 1m56.466s + 0.868s 14. Raffaele de Rosa Tech 3 1m56.543s + 0.945s 15. Alex Debon FTR 1m56.647s + 1.049s 16. Roberto Rolfo Suter 1m56.649s + 1.051s 17. Lukas Pesek Moriwaki 1m56.652s + 1.054s 18. Arne Tode Suter 1m56.665s + 1.067s 19. Yuki Takahashi Tech 3 1m56.716s + 1.118s 20. Karel Abraham FTR 1m56.718s + 1.120s 21. Mike di Meglio Suter 1m56.746s + 1.148s 22. Claudio Corti Suter 1m56.799s + 1.201s 23. Stefan Bradl Suter 1m56.851s + 1.253s 24. Ratthapark Wilairot Bimota 1m56.888s + 1.290s 25. Mattia Pasini Motobi 1m56.897s + 1.299s 26. Simone Corsi Motobi 1m56.898s + 1.300s 27. Yonni Hernandez BQR 1m56.911s + 1.313s 28. Scott Redding Suter 1m57.049s + 1.451s 29. Dominique Agerter Suter 1m57.380s + 1.782s 30. Vladimir Ivanov Moriwaki 1m57.392s + 1.794s 31. Niccolo Canepa Scot 1m57.400s + 1.802s 32. Robertino Pietri Suter 1m57.455s + 1.857s 33. Kenny Noyes Promo Harris 1m57.467s + 1.869s 34. Joan Olive Promo Harris 1m57.589s + 1.991s 35. Fonsi Nieto Moriwaki 1m57.690s + 2.092s 36. Bernat Martinez Bimota 1m57.733s + 2.135s 37. Valentin Debise ADV 1m57.940s + 2.342s 38. Vladimir Leonov Suter 1m58.247s + 2.649s 39. Anthony West MZ 1m58.430s + 2.832s 40. Yannick Guerra Moriwaki 1m58.467s + 2.869s 41. Anthony Delhalle BQR 1m58.701s + 3.103s