Fabio Quartararo took pole position for the Grand Prix of Aragon, snatching the top spot from factory Yamaha rider Maverick Viñales in the final few minutes.
The Frenchman did so after suffering a high-side crash in FP3 earlier in the day during which he injured his shoulder and was taken to the medical centre for a check-up, but fortunately escaped injury.
It was a strong qualifying session for the SRT team in general as both Quartararo and his team-mate Franco Morbidelli took control of the top two spots for the majority of Q2.
The sole factory Yamaha of Maverick Viñales proved the greatest challenge to the independent Yamaha riders early in the session, the Spaniard pulling out a two-tenths of a second gap over Quartararo.
The pair played a game of cat-and-mouse throughout the session, with Quartararo improving on his times with every lap before banging in a last-minute 1:47.076 to put himself on top.
Franco Morbidelli looked to make it a Yamaha 1-2 at the end of the session after setting the fastest times in the first three sectors, but was forced to settle for fourth after losing time in the final split.
There was frustration for the factory Ducati team after Danilo Petrucci pipped team-mate Andrea Dovizioso in Q1-limiting the Italian to a 13th place start for the race- while Jack Miller had to go through the first session following a yellow-flag infringement in FP4, the Pramac racer shadowing Petrucci in the first segment of qualifying.
Despite this, Miller was able to put his Pramac machine on the second row for tomorrow’s race, just ahead of the Suzuki of Joan Mir and LCR Honda of Takaaki Nakagami.
Nakagami’s team-mate Cal Crutchlow put in a highly impressive performance by muscling his way to a front-row start in third, sandwiching his Honda between the Yamaha’s of Morbidelli and Viñales.
Aprilia rider Aleix Espargaro ended his day strongly on the third row of the grid in ninth, ten places up on his team-mate Bradley Smith in 19th-the new RS-GP keeping up its predecessors solid record at the Aragon venue.
Alex Marquez could only manage 11th after being shuffled back late on, while KTM’s Pol Espargaro completed the Q2 runners in 12th after running into technical torubles ahead of his final push efforts.
Joining those is Brad Binder who starts from 14th, Johann Zarco who will start from 16th on the Avintia Ducati, and Francesco Bagnaia who starts 12 places down from his team-mate, Jack Miler, in 17th.