Fabio Quartararo sealed his second consecutive pole at Jerez for Petronas SRT after Maverick Vinales lost his provisional pole effort to a track limits infringement.
Vinales led the first runs in Q2 with a blistering 1:37.102, while Quartararo could only manage a lap good enough for third early on just behind Pramac Racing’s Francesco Bagnaia.
The Spanish GP winner hit back though on his finally flying run, firing his satellite M1 to the top spot on his penultimate push lap with a 1:37.007.
Vinales was not done with just yet though, and looked to have snatched pole at the death by a tenth of a second.
His time was swiftly deleted though as he had run fully onto the green Astroturf on the exit of Turn 7, gifting Quartararo pole and demoting Vinales to the middle of the front row ahead of the impressive Bagnaia, who bags his maiden front row start in third.
Valentino Rossi looked happier with the hot conditions relative to last weekend as he took a strong fourth on the grid, while Miguel Oliveira starred with fifth for Tech 3 KTM despite having to contest Q1.
The Portuguese racer led the way at the end of the preceding Q1 session having posted what would ultimately be the fastest lap of the shootout early on, at the time nearly four-tenths clear of Franco Morbidelli.
The Italian managed to close the gap with one final effort, but this was still 0.157 back from the KTM-although still enough for second in the session, granting him the final spot in Q2.
Just missing out was the injured Cal Crutchlow, who shrugged off the pain from his broken wrist to bag 13th on the grid-missing Q2 by just 0.132.
Andrea Dovizioso continued to struggle meanwhile, the factory Ducati ace taking only the 14th best time 0.144 away from Morbidelli’s effort.
Marc Marquez decided to forego qualifying after completing a single installation lap in Q1, leaving his participation in tomorrow’s Andalucian GP in doubt.
Morbidelli meanwhile managed to shadow Q1 rival Oliveira to take sixth on the grid, with Jack Miller netting seventh ahead of FP2 and FP4 pace setter Takaaki Nakagami, who lost a potential front row slot after running wide at the final turn while just a tenth down on Quartararo’s lap.
Brad Binder similarly lost a higher starting place after also making a mistake at the final Lorenzo hairpin and will therefore start ninth, just ahead of Joan Mir’s Suzuki.
Danilo Petrucci will take the race start from 11th, with the second factory KTM of Pol Espargaro completing the Q2 runners in 12th after crashing out at Turn 2 before setting his final push lap.