Stefan Bradl claimed his third pole out of three in 2011 but was given his sternest test yet on his way to securing it.
Pole constantly changed hands in the early stages with Marc Marquez setting the fastest time of the weekend so far ten minutes in before losing it at the halfway stage to Thomas Luthi. The Swiss rider held on to the fastest time until the final seven minutes when he was finally beaten by Mapfre Aspar's Julian Simon.
Luthi responded with a lap that was one thousandth of a second slower than the Spaniard before going even quicker on his next lap, going two tenths quicker than Simon.
With the chequered flag out, Stefan Bradl entered the final sector half a tenth down on Luthi, but the German dived into the slipstream provided by Ricard Cardus' Moriwaki on the pit straight to take pole by 0.163s.
Luthi and Simon completed the front row with Marc Marquez heading the second row of the grid in fourth. Dominique Aegerter was a surprise fifth but the Technomag–CIP rider nearly caused an even greater shock in the closing minutes until he crashed out at the Parabolica Interior when on course for a pole position lap.
Michele Pirro recovered from an early fall to snatch sixth from Gresini teammate Yuki Takahashi who will line up seventh. Kenan Sofuoglu threatened a pole position challenge but crashed in the final minute and was forced to settle for a place in the middle of the third row.
Fireworks look certain on row five, where championship leader Andrea Iannone will start. The Italian failed to get in the top ten once again but will still target a podium finish. Either side of him will be the British pair Scott Redding and Bradley Smith who qualified 13th and 15th respectively. Injury-stricken Kev Coghlan will start on the back row of the grid in 37th.
|1||Stefan Bradl||Viessman Kiefer Racing||1:41.591|
|2||Thomas Luthi||Interwetten Paddock Moto2||1:41.754||+0.163|
|3||Julian Simon||Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2||1:41.905||+0.314|
|4||Marc Marquez||Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol||1:42.073||+0.482|
|6||Michele Pirro||Gresini Racing Moto2||1:42.219||+0.628|
|7||Yuki Takahashi||Gresini Racing Moto2||1:42.259||+0.668|
|9||Jules Cluzel||Forward Racing||1:42.400||+0.809|
|10||Pol Espargaro||HP Tuenti Speed Up||1:42.456||+0.865|
|11||Aleix Espargaro||Pons HP 40||1:42.493||+0.902|
|12||Alex Baldolini||Forward Racing||1:42.546||+0.955|
|13||Scott Redding||Marc VDS Racing Team||1:42.563||+0.972|
|14||Andrea Iannone||Speed Master||1:42.591||+1.000|
|15||Bradley Smith||Tech 3 Racing||1:42.743||+1.152|
|16||Axel Pons||Pons HP 40||1:42.746||+1.155|
|17||Simone Corsi||Ioda Racing Project||1:42.844||+1.253|
|18||Raffaele de Rosa||Desguaces La Torre G22||1:42.953||+1.362|
|19||Mattia Pasini||Ioda Racing Project||1:42.996||+1.405|
|20||Ricard Cardus||QMMF Racing Team||1:43.080||+1.489|
|21||Xavier Simeon||Tech 3 B||1:43.120||+1.529|
|22||Mika Kallio||Marc VDS Racing Team||1:43.140||+1.549|
|24||Ratthapark Wilairot||Thai Honda Singha SAG||1:43.286||+1.695|
|25||Randy Krummenacher||GP Team Switzerland Kiefer Racing||1:43.346||+1.755|
|26||Mike Di Meglio||Tech 3 Racing||1:43.366||+1.775|
|28||Alex de Angelis||JIR Moto2||1:43.472||+1.881|
|29||Anthony West||MZ Racing Team||1:43.660||+2.069|
|30||Claudio Corti||Italtrans Racing Team||1:43.674||+2.083|
|31||Javier Fores||Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2||1:43.710||+2.119|
|32||Valentin Debise||Speed Up||1:44.010||+2.419|
|34||Santiago Hernandez||SAG Team||1:44.355||+2.764|
|35||Robertino Pietri||Italtrans Racing Team||1:44.835||+3.244|
|36||Mashel Al Naimi||QMMF Racing Team||1:45.100||+3.509|
|37||Kev Coghlan||Aeroport de Castello||1:45.380||+3.789|
|38||Steven Odendaal||MS Racing||1:46.555||+4.964|
|107% Time: 1:48.702|
|NQ||Max Neukirchner||MZ Racing Team||No Time (Injured)|
|NQ||Lukasz Wargala||Desguaces La Torre G22||No Time|