Casey Stoner will start Sunday's Australian MotoGP on pole position after a dominant qualifying session at Phillip Island.
Stoner - who can win a second world championship at his home race - was fastest on his Repsol Honda with a best lap of one minute 29.975 seconds.
Reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo was second with Marco Simoncelli third.
Stoner needs to score 10 more points than Spain's Lorenzo to regain the title he won in 2007.
The Australian celebrates his 26th birthday on race day and is favourite to win at Phillip Island for the fifth year in a row.
A victory for Stoner would be enough to secure the title unless Lorenzo also makes the podium.
Stoner said: "Jorge is strong everywhere we go and I think my chances of taking the championship here tomorrow are pretty slim to be honest.
"We are just going to go out there and concentrate on winning the race."
Valentino Rossi's miserable season continued as he could only qualify in 13th place, with British rider Cal Crutchlow just behind in 14th.
Phillip Island qualifying times:
1) Casey Stoner (Aus) Repsol Honda 1'29.975
2) Jorge Lorenzo (Spn) Yamaha 1'30.448
3) Marco Simoncelli (Ita) Gresini Honda 1'30.599
4) Alvaro Bautista (Spn) Suzuki 1'30.714
5) Andrea Dovizioso (Ita) 1'30.780
6) Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati 1'30.792
7) Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha 1'30.835
8) Dani Pedrosa (Spn) Repsol Honda 1'30.871
9) Colin Edwards (USA) Tech 3 Yamaha 1'31.237
10) Loris Capirossi (Ita) Pramac Ducati 1'31.583
13) Valentino Rossi (Ita) Ducati 1'31.980
14) Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Tech 3 Yamaha 1'32.023
1) Alex De Angelis (RSM) Motobi 1'34.574
2) Mike Di Meglio (Fra) Tech 3 1'34.662
3) Yuki Takahashi (Jpn) Moriwaki 1'34.689
1) Johann Zarco (Fra) Derbi 1'39.207
2) Sandro Cortese (Ger) Aprilia 1'39.558
3) Jonas Folger (Ger) Aprilia 1'39.610