Montmeló - Fresh from his morale boosting victory at Mugello, Ducati rider Jorge Lorenzo bagged his first pole since 2016 after topping Saturday's qualifying times for the Catalunya MotoGP.
The Spaniard, a four-time previous winner on the Spanish circuit, may only be tenth in the world standings but clocked a fastest lap time of 1:38.68 to grab pole position, his last coming in Valencia in November 2016 when riding for Yamaha
Championship leader Marc Marquez, on a Honda, was second fastest, with Lorenzo's team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, who won at Montmelo last year, third.
"When the qualification got underway I was struggling to find the right grip, but once we changed the tyres everything changed," said Lorenzo, who hails from Mallorca.
"From then on I was able to attack halfway into a corner, letting the brakes go early and pick up some real speed on the straights," said Lorenzo.
"It's my first pole position with Ducati, let's see what happens tomorrow."
Lorenzo was given a rapturous ovation in Italy last time out as up to 200 000 fans over the weekend lauded a Ducati GP win, with the racer leaping around the podium in joy.
Reigning world champion Marquez suffered two crashes on the track at Catalunya in the first qualifying session.
The unflappable champion was eventually upbeat about finishing second.
"This second place is good for Honda, it shows we are very close to the two Ducatis," said Marquez.
Valentino Rossi started on pole in Italy, and the veteran Italian has seven wins at Catalunya, but starts in seventh on Sunday.
Last year's winner at the track was Dovizioso and the Ducati rider, often better in real racing that qualifying, starts on the front row after finishing third.
Frenchman Fabio Quartararo of Speed Up starts on pole in the Moto2 category while Italy's Enea Bastianini powered his Honda to pole in the Moto 3 race.
Starting grid for motorcycling's Catalunya Grand Prix, to be held on the Montmelo circuit on Sunday:
1. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Ducati) 1min 38.680sec, 2. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) at 0.066sec, 3. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) 0.243
4. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 0.465, 5. Andrea Iannone (ITA/Suzuki) 0.468, 6. Danilo Petrucci (ITA/Ducati Pramac) 0.498
7. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 0.586, 8. Johann Zarco (FRA/Yamaha Tech3) 0.651, 9. Tito Rabat (ESP/Ducati) 0.824
1. Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Speed Up) 1min 43.474sec, 2. Alex Marquez
(ESP/Kalex) at 0.116sec, 3. Marcel Schrötter (GER/Kalex) 0.145
4. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA/Kalex) 0.347, 5. Brad Binder (RSA/KTM) 0.393, 6. Mattia Pasini (ITA/Kalex) 0.431
7. Xavi Vierge (SPA/Kalex) 0.662, 8. Joan Mir (ESP/Kalex) 0.696, 9. Sam Lowes (GBR/KTM) 0.741
1. Enea Bastianini (ITA/Honda) 1min 48.806sec, 2. Jorge Martin (ESP/Honda) 0.107, 3. Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN/Honda) 0.251
4. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN/Honda) 0.253, 5. Aron Canet (ESP/Honda) 0.309, 6. Kaito Toba (JPN/Honda) 0.379
7. John McPhee (GBR/KTM) 0.385, 8. Gabriel Rodrigo (ARG/KTM) 0.427, 9. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA/KTM) 0.493