Jorge Martin decimated the MotoGP field at Phillip Island to secure his third pole of the season by 0.416s, while title rival Francesco Bagnaia escaped Q1 en route to third.
Martin came out all guns blazing from the outset of the pole shootout, the Pramac Ducati pilot immediately lapping under the 1:28s bracket on a 1:27.846s effort to head the rest of the pack by over four-tenths-of-a-second.
Looking completely at one with his Ducati, the Spaniard then quickly got down to business in extending his leading advantage as the final runs got underway.
With a clean track in front, Martin stitched together a monstrous 1:27.246s tour that put him six-tenths clear of anyone else at that point.
Brad Binder got closest to usurping Martin, though the South African could only get to within 0.416s of him to claim second for the factory KTM outfit.
Bagnaia meanwhile completed a solid salvage effort to complete the front row in third, the factory Ducati rider having escaped Q1 by a couple of tenths along with Honda’s Marc Marquez.
He still lapped nearly half a second adrift of his chief championship rival though, leaving him with a tough task to prevent his 18-marker lead from being reduced in the Australian Grand Prix.
Aleix Espargaro managed to get a hold of a slipstream from the blazing Martin to slingshot his Aprilia into fourth, while Johann Zarco rounded off the top five on the sister Pramac Ducati entry.
Fabio Di Gianantonio again impressed in sixth for Gresini ahead of Marquez, while Jack Miller ended up eighth on the other factory KTM machine.
Maverick Vinales failed to match the speed of his team-mate and could only get ninth ahead of VR46 Ducati’s Marco Bezzecchi, while GasGas’ Pol Espargaro and the other factory Ducati of Enea Bastianini completed the Q2 runners.
Augusto Fernandez looked good to make it out of Q1 throughout the test having led the way in the opening runs ahead of Bagnaia, though he ultimately came unstuck after Bagnaia went quicker and Marquez utilised his slipstream to snatch away the final spot.
He would subsequently be pushed back to 14th by Alex Marquez’s Gresini Ducati, though he will start 17th due to receiving a penalty for blocking Fabio Quartararo during FP2 on Friday.
Yamaha rider Quartararo’s tough weekend failed to improve on Saturday as he could manage a lowly 17th in qualifying, meaning he will start just ahead of Fernandez in 16th. Team-mate Franco Morbidelli meanwhile was a disastrous 20th ahead of only LCR Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami.
The Japanese rider is the last LCR man left standing after Alex Rins was forced to pull out from the rest of the Australian event due to suffering pain from his still-recovering leg.
Joan Mir was 16th on his factory Honda, while Luca Marini struggled with his wrist injury at the fast Phillip Island venue en route to 18th just ahead of RNF Aprilia’s Miguel Oliveira.