Sam Lowes notched up a second successive pole position ahead of the French Moto2, the in-form Briton turning it on in fine style by setting a new lap record at Le Mans.
Fresh from his confidence-boosting pole-to-flag victory last time out in the Spanish Moto2, Lowes proved his searing pace in Jerez was no fluke as he left his rivals trailing by a sizeable 0.3secs.
Having had his first couple of time attacks hampered by traffic and yellow flags, Lowes dug deep to produce a flyer with just over five minutes of the session remaining. Stopping the clock at 1m 35.791secs, it made Lowes the only rider to dip under 1m 36secs and broke Pedro Acosta's lap record.
A 20th career Moto2 pole position, Lowes heads into Sunday's race chasing a tenth career victory but will face competition on the front row from SpeedUp's Alonso Lopez and Marc VDS team-mate Tony Arbolino.
The Belgian squad had looked on course for a 1-2 as Arbolino overcame a run of average qualifying form to join Lowes at the head of the grid, only for Lopez to leave it late to squeeze between them in second.
Arbolino's front row gives him the edge over Acosta - the rider he shares the Moto2 World Championship lead with - with the KTM Ajo rider forced to settle for fifth behind Filip Salac after having his final lap scuppered by the red flag being deployed as final runs were being completed.
Celestino Vietti completes row two, ahead of Somkiat Chantra and Jake Dixon, the GasGas Aspar rider the latest to fall victim at the tricky Turn 7 left-hander in the final minutes.
Manuel Gonzalez and Barry Baltus round out the top ten, ahead of Fermin Aldeguer, Albert Arenas and Aron Canet, the latter having been the culprit in the late red flag after he came off at Turn 2 and his Pons Wegow bike made a bid for freedom up to Turn 3.
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French Moto2 | Qualifying Results
|2023 French Moto2 | Le Mans, France | Qualifying Results | Round 5 of 20|
|1||Sam Lowes||GBR||Elf Marc VDS Racing||Kalex||1m 35.791|
|2||Alonso Lopez||ESP||SpeedUp Racing||Boscoscuro||1m 36.036|
|3||Tony Arbolino||ITA||Elf Marc VDS Racing||Kalex||1m 36.053|
|4||Filip Salac||CZE||QJMOTOR Gresini||Kalex||1m 36.135|
|5||Pedro Acosta||ESP||Red Bull KTM Ajo||Kalex||1m 36.169|
|6||Celestino Vietti||ITA||Fantic Racing||Kalex||1m 36.178|
|7||Somkiat Chantra||THA||IDEMITSU Honda Asia||Kalex||1m 36.180|
|8||Jake Dixon||GBR||Autosolar GasGas Aspar||Kalex||1m 36.225|
|9||Manuel Gonzalez||JPN||Yamaha VR46 MasterCamp||Kalex||1m 36.354|
|10||Barry Baltus||BEL||Fieten Olie Racing GP||Kalex||1m 36.437|
|11||Fermin Aldeguer||ESP||SpeedUp Racing||Boscoscuro||1m 36.474|
|12||Albert Arenas||ESP||Red Bull KTM Ajo||Kalex||1m 36.537|
|13||Aron Canet||ESP||Pons Wegow Los40||Kalex||1m 36.686|
|14||Bo Bendsneyder||NED||Pertamina SAG Team||Kalex||1m 36.726|
|15||Lukas Tulovic||GER||Husqvarna IntactGP||Kalex||1m 36.794|
|16||Ai Ogura||JPN||IDEMITSU Honda Asia||Kalex||1m 36.998|
|17||Joe Roberts||USA||Italtrans Racing Team||Kalex||1m 37.005|
|18||Sergio Garcia||ESP||Pons Wegow Los40||Kalex||1m 37.060|
|19||Sean Dylan Kelly||USA||American Racing||Kalex||1m 36.726|
|20||Jeremy Alcoba||ESP||QJMOTOR Gresini||Kalex||1m 36.836|
|21||Marcos Ramirez||ESP||Forward Team||Forward||1m 36.959|
|22||Zonta van den Goorbergh||NED||Fieten Olie Racing GP||Kalex||1m 36.966|
|23||Dennis Foggia||ITA||Italtrans Racing Team||Kalex||1m 37.123|
|24||Senna Agius||AUS||Husqvarna IntactGP||Kalex||1m 37.134|
|25||Lorenzo Dalla Porta||ITA||Pertamina SAG Team||Kalex||1m 37.426|
|26||Rory Skinner||GBR||American Racing||Kalex||1m 37.642|
|27||Borja Gomez||ESP||Fantic Racing||Kalex||1m 37.827|
|28||Izan Guevara||ESP||Autosolar GasGas Aspar||Kalex||1m 37.879|
|29||Alex Escrig||ESP||Forward Team||Forward||1m 38.500|
|W||Kohta Nozane||JPN||Yamaha VR46 MasterCamp||Kalex|