Marc Marquez took his second Moto2 pole position in a hard-fought wet qualifying at Mugello.
The track was never dry enough for slicks, but did get increasingly quick as the session progressed, which meant a constant stream of changes at the front in the final stages.
Marquez hit the front in the closing minutes, was usurped by Alex de Angelis, and then fought back with a 2m05.312s right at the end to take pole by half a second.
When the track was at its wettest, Bradley Smith had fought for provisional pole with Kenan Sofuoglu. The Turk was pushed right back to 13th in the end, but Smith stayed among the leaders and secured his first Moto2 front row start in third.
Fellow Tech 3 man Xavier Simeon took an impressive fourth, heading Randy Krummenacher and Pol Espargaro on row two as all three claimed their best Moto2 grid positions yet.
Championship leader Stefan Bradl languished in the midfield for a long while before jumping to third. He looked like he might do better still before a mechanical problem forced him to abandon his last run, after which he was shuffled back to seventh as others improved.
Anthony West and Andrea Iannone were other men who flew in the worst of the weather before falling back, ending up 10th and 14th.
Regular frontrunners starting lower than usual include Michele Pirro in 21st, Simone Corsi in 23rd, Tom Luthi in 24th and Jules Cluzel in 33rd.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap 1. Marc Marquez Catalunya Suter 2m05.312s 2. Alex de Angelis JIR Motobi 2m05.897s + 0.585s 3. Bradley Smith Tech 3 2m06.617s + 1.305s 4. Xavier Simeon Tech 3 2m06.757s + 1.445s 5. Randy Krummenacher Kiefer Kalex 2m06.941s + 1.629s 6. Pol Espargaro Speed Up FTR 2m06.963s + 1.651s 7. Stefan Bradl Kiefer Kalex 2m07.013s + 1.701s 8. Mattia Pasini Ioda FTR 2m07.023s + 1.711s 9. Mika Kallio Marc VDS Suter 2m07.147s + 1.835s 10. Anthony West MZ 2m07.249s + 1.937s 11. Esteve Rabat Blusens FTR 2m07.549s + 2.237s 12. Robertino Pietri Italtrans Suter 2m07.612s + 2.300s 13. Kenan Sofuoglu Technomag-CIP Suter 2m07.692s + 2.380s 14. Andrea Iannone Speed Master Suter 2m07.728s + 2.416s 15. Yuki Takahashi Gresini Moriwaki 2m07.780s + 2.468s 16. Yonny Hernandez Blusens FTR 2m07.844s + 2.532s 17. Ricard Cardus QMMF Moriwaki 2m07.864s + 2.552s 18. Jordi Torres Aspar Suter 2m07.919s + 2.607s 19. Raffaele de Rosa Aspar Suter 2m08.118s + 2.806s 20. Max Neukirchner MZ 2m08.272s + 2.960s 21. Michele Pirro Gresini Moriwaki 2m08.289s + 2.977s 22. Kenny Noyes Avintia FTR 2m08.444s + 3.132s 23. Simone Corsi Ioda FTR 2m08.562s + 3.250s 24. Thomas Luthi Paddock Suter 2m08.681s + 3.369s 25. Tommaso Lorenzetti Castello FTR 2m08.840s + 3.528s 26. Alex Baldolini Forward Suter 2m08.883s + 3.571s 27. Carmelo Morales G22 Moriwaki 2m08.970s + 3.658s 28. Scott Redding Marc VDS Suter 2m09.265s + 3.953s 29. Mattia Tarozzi Faenza Suter 2m09.409s + 4.097s 30. Dominique Aegerter Technomag-CIP Suter 2m09.616s + 4.304s 31. Claudio Corti Italtrans Suter 2m09.911s + 4.599s 32. Aleix Espargaro Pons Kalex 2m09.974s + 4.662s 33. Jules Cluzel Forward Suter 2m10.420s + 5.108s 34. Ratthapark Wilairot AG FTR 2m10.436s + 5.124s 35. Mike di Meglio Tech 3 2m10.652s + 5.340s 36. Santiago Hernandez SAG FTR 2m10.723s + 5.411s 37. Mashel Al Naimi QMMF Moriwaki 2m13.596s + 8.284s 38. Valentin Debise Speed Up FTR 2m14.539s + 9.227s