Jorge Lorenzo has taken a strong pole position for tomorrow's Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril.
The Yamaha rider shot to the top of the timesheets with 18 minutes remaining in the one-hour session. From that point on, he further improved three times to settle with a 1m36.214s lap time set with one minute remaining.
Second best was Lorenzo's team-mate and championship leader Valentino Rossi, who snatched the grid position from Ducati's Casey Stoner with a few seconds left. Rossi's time is just over a quarter of a second slower than Lorenzo's and half a tenth quicker than Stoner's.
The Australian, who returns to MotoGP with a satisfying front row after missing the last three races, was followed by Honda's Dani Pedrosa, Tech 3 Yamaha's Colin Edwards, and LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet.
Suzuki's Loris Capirossi leads the third row, with Andrea Dovizioso's Honda eighth and the Ducatis of Nicky Hayden Mika Kallio - the latter on the Pramac entry - rounding up the top ten.
The Gresini Hondas of Alex de Angelis and Toni Elias qualified respectively in 11th and 13th positions, while Marco Melandri ended up a lowly 16th with the Hayate Kawasaki.
Pos Rider Bike Time Gap 1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m36.214s 2. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m36.474s + 0.260s 3. Casey Stoner Ducati 1m36.528s + 0.314s 4. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m36.702s + 0.488s 5. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 1m37.142s + 0.928s 6. Randy de Puniet LCR Honda 1m37.448s + 1.234s 7. Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1m37.489s + 1.275s 8. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m37.541s + 1.327s 9. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m37.654s + 1.440s 10. Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati 1m37.813s + 1.599s 11. Alex de Angelis Gresini Honda 1m37.822s + 1.608s 12. James Toseland Tech 3 Yamaha 1m37.823s + 1.609s 13. Toni Elias Gresini Honda 1m37.911s + 1.697s 14. Niccolo Canepa Pramac Ducati 1m38.042s + 1.828s 15. Chris Vermeulen Suzuki 1m38.342s + 2.128s 16. Marco Melandri Hayate Kawasaki 1m39.108s + 2.324s 17. Gabor Talmacsi Scot Honda 1m40.417s + 3.106s