Marc Marquez took a last-gasp pole position for the Moto2 Indianapolis by the smallest of margins from Simone Corsi in a thrilling qualifying session, while championship leader Stefan Bradl endured a disastrous afternoon.
Corsi was the first man to pump in a really quick time in 1m44.259s with six minutes to go, but the Ioda Racing FTR rider was knocked back by the Team Catalunya Suter of Marquez two minutes later.
Both riders made one final attempt to secure the top spot as the chequered flag flew, with Corsi taking the top spot after picking up a tow from three bikes ahead of him down the start/finish straight.
But his joy turned to disappointment seconds later as Marquez's 1m44.038s lap knocked him from pole by just a thousandth of a second.
While Marquez took his fourth consecutive pole and his fifth of the season, second marked Corsi's best starting spot in Moto2.
Behind them Andrea Iannone took his best grid spot of the year in third on his Speed Master Suter while Britain's Bradley Smith was fourth for Tech 3 as three different chassis manufacturers appeared in the top four positions.
Thomas Luthi recovered from an early crash to leap up 10 places to fifth on his final lap and edge his Interwetten Suter just ahead of Mattia Pasini, who secured his own career-best performance in Moto2 on the second Ioda bike.
Pol Espargaro was a fine seventh on his Speed Up FTR while Dominique Aegerter (Technomag Suter), Esteve Rabat (Blusens FTR) and Alex de Angelis (JIR Motobi) completed the top 10.
Britain's Scott Redding briefly held pole with seven minutes to go, but the Marc VDS Suter man was bumped back to 11th by the end.
Championship leader Bradl was never in contention and will start the race from 22nd place. Chief among the Kiefer Racing rider's problems is that the Kalex chassis is not suited to the Indianapolis track - a point proven by Aleix Espargaro taking the best starting spot for a similar bike in 17th.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap 1. Marc Marquez Catalunya Suter 1m44.038s 2. Simone Corsi Ioda FTR 1m44.039s + 0.001s 3. Andrea Iannone Speed Master Suter 1m44.158s + 0.120s 4. Bradley Smith Tech 3 1m44.344s + 0.306s 5. Thomas Luthi Interwetten Suter 1m44.623s + 0.585s 6. Mattia Pasini Ioda FTR 1m44.732s + 0.694s 7. Pol Espargaro Speed Up FTR 1m44.785s + 0.747s 8. Dominique Aegerter Technomag-CIP Suter 1m44.794s + 0.756s 9. Esteve Rabat Blusens FTR 1m44.859s + 0.821s 10. Alex de Angelis JIR Motobi 1m44.864s + 0.826s 11. Scott Redding Marc VDS Suter 1m44.865s + 0.827s 12. Jules Cluzel Forward Suter 1m45.043s + 1.005s 13. Michele Pirro Gresini Moriwaki 1m45.047s + 1.009s 14. Ricard Cardus QMMF Moriwaki 1m45.060s + 1.022s 15. Julian Simon Aspar Suter 1m45.062s + 1.024s 16. Max Neukirchner MZ 1m45.094s + 1.056s 17. Aleix Espargaro Pons Kalex 1m45.136s + 1.098s 18. Mika Kallio Marc VDS Suter 1m45.160s + 1.122s 19. Raffaele de Rosa Forward Suter 1m45.173s + 1.135s 20. Yuki Takahashi Gresini Moriwaki 1m45.184s + 1.146s 21. Jordi Torres Aspar Suter 1m45.369s + 1.331s 22. Stefan Bradl Kiefer Kalex 1m45.371s + 1.333s 23. Randy Krummenacher Kiefer Kalex 1m45.448s + 1.410s 24. Xavier Simeon Tech 3 1m45.496s + 1.458s 25. Mike di Meglio Tech 3 1m45.534s + 1.496s 26. Claudio Corti Italtrans Suter 1m45.682s + 1.644s 27. Ratthapak Wilairot SAG FTR 1m45.889s + 1.851s 28. Carmelo Morales La Torre Moriwaki 1m46.059s + 2.021s 29. Kenny Noyes Avintia FTR 1m46.086s + 2.048s 30. Anthony West MZ 1m46.160s + 2.122s 31. Martin Cardenas Blusens FTR 1m46.175s + 2.137s 32. Alex Baldolini Pons Kalex 1m46.247s + 2.209s 33. Jake Gagne GP Tech FTR 1m46.594s + 2.556s 34. Valentin Debise Speed Up FTR 1m46.953s + 2.915s 35. JD Beach Castello FTR 1m47.219s + 3.181s 36. Mashel Al Naimi QMMF Moriwaki 1m47.343s + 3.305s 37. Robertino Pietri Italtrans Suter 1m47.439s + 3.401s 38. Santiago Hernandez SAG FTR 1m48.170s + 4.132s