Australian Jack Miller has missed out on another MotoGP pole postion by just 0.09 seconds at the Aragon Grand Prix in Spain.
In-form Francesco Bagnaia set a lap record to lead a Ducati front-row lockout in Saturday's qualifying in Alcaniz as his title rivals Aleix Espargaro and Fabio Quartararo ended up on the second row.
Italian Bagnaia, winner of the last four MotoGP races, posted a time of 1 minute 46.069 seconds to just snatch pole from his Ducati factory teammate Miller, while Gresini Racing's Enea Bastianini completed the front row.
Aprilia's Espargaro finished fourth ahead of Pramac Ducati rider Johann Zarco as championship leader Quartararo took sixth place with his final lap.
Townsville's Miller will be hoping for a change of fortunes after he took his first pole in four years in the San Marino Grand Prix, only to crash out early in the race itself.
"I think this is my best lap ever. I have never done such a perfect lap," said Bagnaia, who is second in the championship standings 30 points behind Quartararo.
"It's the best way to end this Saturday, looking at the race. We are strong but Fabio is also strong, so starting in front is for sure an advantage."
Honda's Marc Marquez, a six-times MotoGP champion, finished 13th on his return to racing, after recovering from surgery and missing the last six rounds of the championship.
Suzuki rider Joan Mir withdrew after the end of the third practice session earlier on Saturday due to an ankle injury and the 2020 world champion will also sit out next weekend's Japanese GP at Motegi.