Scott Redding was denied a brilliant maiden career pole position by just 0.041s at the spectacular new Motorland Aragon track this afternoon.
The British looked destined to claim a stunning Moto2 pole position just 13 days after he was involved in a three rider pile-up that left Japanese rider Shoya Tomizawa fatally injured.
The Marc VDS Racing rider had stormed to a best lap of 1.55.189 with only five minutes of a thrilling qualifying session to lead Alex de Angelis by just 0.005s.
But just as Redding was poised to mark his best ever qualifying result, he was denied by a brilliant last lap attack by Italian Andrea Iannone.
Iannone posted a 1.55.148 on his closing lap to move in front of Redding by just 0.041s and claim his fifth pole position of the 2010 campaign.
Redding though looks a good bet to register his second Moto2 podium as he was in contention for pole position throughout the session.
At one stage he led the ultra-competitive field by over 0.3s but Redding continued his incredible qualifying streak with today’s result the third race in succession that he has qualified on the front row of the grid.
Redding claimed second with de Angelis securing third place with his best time of 1.55.194 leaving the top three split by just 0.046s.
Completing the front row will be Spain’s Julian Simon, who has finished second in the last two races in Indianapolis and Misano. The reigning world 125GP champion ended with a best time of 1.55.364. That was 0.216s away from Iannone.
World championship leader Toni Elias will start from a lowly 12th having only been able to clock a best time of 1.55.838 on his Gresini Moriwaki machine.
He was 0.690s off pole position and his hopes of a front row were dented when he crashed at the first corner with just over 15 minutes remaining while he was in seventh position. It was the second worst qualifying performance of the season for the former MotoGP winner after he qualified in 18th at the British Grand Prix.
Scottish rider Kev Coghlan was one place further back in 13th on the grid after he posted a best time of 1.55.859. That was only 0.021s slower than Elias, who has won the last four Moto2 races to open up a commanding 83-point lead in the world championship.
Coghlan was as high as sixth earlier in the session but his 13th easily beat his 30th place on the grid when he was a wild card at Silverstone’s British Grand Prix in early June.
He went onto finish 22nd in the race but is confident of a top ten challenge in tomorrow’s 21-lap race having won the Spanish championship Moto2 race at the Motorland Aragon track earlier this season.