Stefan Bradl proved his pre-season form was no fluke as he took pole position for the first race of the new season in Qatar.
The Qualifying session mirrored most of the weekend to date as the battle for top spot quickly became a private duel between Bradl and Marc Marquez. The 125cc World Champion was on the verge of a stunning debut in the middle class as he set a 2:00.375 with 17 minutes still to go.
That time held up until the final two minutes, when Bradl finally found the sweet spot of the Kalex machine to go 0.207 seconds faster than the Spaniard, narrowly failing to go under the two-minute barrier.
The top two had a comfortable cushion over Thomas Luthi, who rounded out the front row for Interwetten Paddock Moto2.
Yuki Takahasi continued his strong form at the Losail International Circuit by taking fourth. The Japanese rider will be joined on row two by Jules Cluzel and 2010 series runner-up Julian Simon.
One of the stars of qualifying was undoubtedly Bradley Smith. The 20 year old from Oxford produced a stunning lap in his first Moto2 qualifying session to take seventh.
The 125cc graduate will start three places ahead of fellow Brit Scott Redding. The Gloucester teenager failed to match his promising practice pace and only climbed into the top 10 in the dying seconds.
A number of the expected title contenders had problematic starts to the season. Andrea Iannone, who spent much of last year challenging for the title, will start down in 16th, while two-time World SuperSport Champion Kenan Sofuoglu could only manage 28th.
Kev Coghlan completes the British trio. He also failed to match his practice promise and will start on the eleventh row in 33rd.
Warm-up for Round One of the 2011 Moto2 World Championship takes place later this evening, with the race itself starts at 17:15 GMT on Sunday.
|1||Stefan Bradl||Viessman Kiefer Racing||2:00.168|
|2||Marc Marquez||Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol||2:00.375||+0.207|
|3||Thomas Luthi||Interwetten Paddock Moto2||2:00.996||+0.828|
|4||Yuki Takahashi||Gresini Racing Moto2||2:01.179||+1.011|
|5||Jules Cluzel||Forward Racing||2:01.408||+1.240|
|6||Julian Simon||Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2||2:01.430||+1.262|
|7||Bradley Smith||Tech 3 Racing||2:01.442||+1.274|
|8||Alex de Angelis||JIR Moto2||2:01.465||+1.297|
|9||Michele Pirro||Gresini Racing Moto2||2:01.479||+1.311|
|10||Scott Redding||Marc VDS Racing Team||2:01.564||+1.396|
|11||Simone Corsi||Ioda Racing Project||2:01.574||+1.406|
|12||Max Neukirchner||MZ Racing Team||2:01.741||+1.573|
|13||Mattia Pasini||Ioda Racing Project||2:01.893||+1.725|
|14||Aleix Espargaro||Pons HP 40||2:01.895||+1.727|
|16||Andrea Iannone||Speed Master||2:01.903||+1.735|
|18||Claudio Corti||Italtrans Racing Team||2:02.237||+2.069|
|19||Mike Di Meglio||Tech 3 Racing||2:02.352||+2.184|
|21||Javier Fores||Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2||2:02.397||+2.229|
|22||Ricard Cardus||QMMF Racing Team||2:02.505||+2.337|
|23||Axel Pons||Pons HP 40||2:02.529||+2.361|
|24||Pol Espargaro||HP Tuenti Speed Up||2:02.536||+2.368|
|25||Mika Kallio||Marc VDS Racing Team||2:02.549||+2.381|
|26||Valentin Debise||Speed Up||2:02.828||+2.660|
|27||Ratthapark Wilairot||Thai Honda Singha SAG||2:02.838||+2.670|
|29||Randy Krummenacher||GP Team Switzerland Kiefer Racing||2:02.897||+2.729|
|30||Robertino Pietri||Italtrans Racing Team||2:03.151||+2.983|
|31||Alex Baldolini||Forward Racing||2:03.246||+3.078|
|32||Santiago Hernandez||SAG Team||2:03.264||+3.096|
|33||Kev Coghlan||Aeroport de Castello||2:03.276||+3.108|
|35||Xavier Simeon||Tech 3 B||2:03.657||+3.489|
|36||Raffale de Rosa||Desguaces La Torre G22||2:03.684||+3.516|
|37||Anthony West||MZ Racing Team||2:04.043||+3.875|
|38||Mashel Al Naimi||QMMF Racing Team||2:04.875||+4.707|
|39||Nasser Hasan Al Malki||QMMF Racing Team||2:05.299||+5.131|