Gresini Racing earned a poignant one-two on the Valencia Moto2 grid with Michele Pirro and Yuki Takahashi, as Stefan Bradl wrapped up the 2011 championship through Marc Marquez's absence.
Although Bradl's title rival Marquez had announced on Friday that he would not be fit to race at Valencia following his Sepang qualifying crash, his team left the door open to a late recovery, leaving Bradl uncertain whether he really could celebrate the championship or not.
But with Marquez sitting out qualifying and confirming that his optic nerve injury would not allow him to ride at all this weekend, Bradl can go into tomorrow's season finale knowing his points tally cannot be beaten and the title is sealed.
The Valencia qualifying session saw rain very early on, and the Gresini pair timed their runs perfectly to grab first and second - an emotional result a fortnight after the team's MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli lost his life in a crash in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Mika Kallio joins Pirro and Takahashi on the front row for Marc VDS, with Bradl grabbing fourth with his pre-rain flying lap, ahead of Alex de Angelis (JIR) and Sepang winner Thomas Luthi (Interwetten).
The frontrunner most seriously wrong-footed by the change in conditions was Andrea Iannone, who will start 25th on the Speed Master Suter.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap 1. Michele Pirro Gresini Moriwaki 1m37.067s 2. Yuki Takahashi Gresini Moriwaki 1m37.076s + 0.009s 3. Mika Kallio Marc VDS Suter 1m37.477s + 0.410s 4. Stefan Bradl Kiefer Kalex 1m37.870s + 0.803s 5. Alex de Angelis JIR Motobi 1m37.888s + 0.821s 6. Thomas Luthi Interwetten Suter 1m37.963s + 0.896s 7. Dominique Aegerter Technomag-CIP Suter 1m38.095s + 1.028s 8. Xavier Simeon Tech 3 1m38.182s + 1.115s 9. Mike di Meglio Tech 3 1m38.496s + 1.429s 10. Simone Corsi Ioda FTR 1m38.565s + 1.498s 11. Aleix Espargaro Pons Kalex 1m38.633s + 1.566s 12. Bradley Smith Tech 3 1m38.652s + 1.585s 13. Pol Espargaro Speed Up FTR 1m38.655s + 1.588s 14. Scott Redding Marc VDS Suter 1m38.703s + 1.636s 15. Jordi Torres Aspar Suter 1m38.924s + 1.857s 16. Esteve Rabat Blusens FTR 1m38.936s + 1.869s 17. Mattia Pasini Ioda FTR 1m39.096s + 2.029s 18. Alex Baldolini G22 Moriwaki 1m39.293s + 2.226s 19. Jules Cluzel Forward Suter 1m39.309s + 2.242s 20. Yonny Hernandez Blusens FTR 1m39.316s + 2.249s 21. Julian Simon Aspar Suter 1m39.403s + 2.336s 22. Anthony West MZ 1m39.442s + 2.375s 23. Kenny Noyes Avintia FTR 1m39.549s + 2.482s 24. Max Neukirchner MZ 1m39.671s + 2.604s 25. Andrea Iannone Speed Master Suter 1m39.716s + 2.649s 26. Claudio Corti Italtrans Suter 1m39.743s + 2.676s 27. Randy Krummenacher Kiefer Kalex 1m39.818s + 2.751s 28. Raffaele de Rosa Forward Suter 1m39.849s + 2.782s 29. Kenan Sofuoglu Technomag-CIP Suter 1m40.277s + 3.210s 30. Valentin Debise Speed Up FTR 1m40.368s + 3.301s 31. Santiago Hernandez SAG FTR 1m40.441s + 3.374s 32. Joan Olive Castello FTR 1m40.512s + 3.445s 33. Robertino Pietri Italtrans Suter 1m40.690s + 3.623s 34. Oscar Climent Climent Mir 1m40.953s + 3.886s 35. Elena Rosell Aspar Suter 1m42.006s + 4.939s 36. Ratthapark Wilairot SAG FTR 1m42.317s + 5.250s 37. Mashel Al Naimi QMMF Moriwaki 1m42.627s + 5.560s 38. Nasser Hasan Al Malki QMMF Moriwaki 1m43.709s + 6.642s 39. Axel Pons Pons Kalex 40. Marc Marquez Catalunya Suter