Joe Roberts claimed pole late in qualifying for the Moto2 French Grand Prix in Le Mans.
The Tennor American Racing rider continued to show his ability to put in a fast lap as his late effort of 1m36.256s lead the way as the chequered flag waved.
The American tried to run a strategy to run solo on track as he feels stronger alone and to avoid yellow flag infringements and the plan paid off.
It was a tight battle with a host of riders improving late on. Sam Lowes moved into second late on for EG 0,0 Marc VDS earning a front row start for his 100th Moto2 Grand Prix. The reasoned, sensible Brit backed off in the closing moments when he was sure he had a strong lap in the bag.
Remy Gardner also picked up the pace to claim third for Onexox TKKR SAG Team to complete the all Kalex front row.
Fourth went to Jorge Martin. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider had dominated the timesheets for much of Q2 before crashing, leaving him unable to respond to the late, faster laps.
Marco Bezzecchi improved to fifth as the session wound up. He is just one place ahead of his Sky Racing Team VR46 team-mate, championship leader Luca Marini. The day was all about damage limitation for the Italian as he battled the after effects of his Friday fall.
Xavi Vierge set the seventh best time for Petronas Sprinta Racing, pushing back his team-mate Jake Dixon to eighth.
Title hopeful Enea Bastianini found himself in the top ten for the first time this weekend when it counted most so far, after coming through Q1 he will start ninth for Italtrans.
Stefano Manzi completed the top ten for MV Agusta Forward Racing.
Fabio Di Giannantonio arrived to qualify on crutches after his recent fall where he went over his Speed Up in FP1. Qualifying fell on his birthday and he did his best to give himself something to celebrate, and will line up eleventh for Termozeta Speed Up.
Aron Canet was the top rookie in twelfth for Inde Aspar.
Marcel Schrotter had fallen in every session leading up to qualifying, and although he kept it upright in Q1 being a little more cautious saw him just miss out on Q2. The Intact GP rider starts 19th.
A drop in temperature in the early afternoon seemed to contribute to the large amount of crashes with Kazma Daniel, Andi Farid Izdhar, Piotr Biesiekirski, Lorenzo Dalla Porta, Nicolo Bulega and Tom Luthi all falling in quick succession in Q1.