Casey Stoner overcame an early crash in qualifying to take pole position for Sunday's Australian Grand Prix.
The Australian, 27, lost control of his Repsol Honda 20 minutes into the session, but recovered to post the fastest time of one minute 29.623 seconds.
Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo was second fastest at Phillip Island.
Fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa will line up third on the grid, with Britain's Cal Crutchlow fourth.
Lorenzo, the 2010 world champion, will win a second title if he finishes in the top three of the race ahead of Pedrosa, while Stoner is chasing a sixth successive win in his home GP.
Stoner has only recently on torn ligaments and fractures to his ankle, tibia and fibula suffered in a crash during qualifying in Indianapolis in mid-August.
He admitted he was lucky not to cause further injury when he crashed on Saturday.
"I was on my 'out' lap on a hard tyre and the thing just decided to flick me," said Stoner after claiming the 39th MotoGP pole of his career.
"I was very fortunate it didn't come down on my foot."
The two-time champion, who is retiring at the end of the season, added: "I'm just very happy to be in pole in my home grand prix and hopefully have something to celebrate tomorrow for everybody."
Lorenzo, who leads Pedrosa by 23 points in the championship standings, said: "Casey is unbeatable this weekend, if nothing strange happens.
"It's everybody else's target to be as close as possible to him. I'll mainly try to win second place. We'll try to keep calm and not make any mistakes."
Australian GP qualifying results:
1. Casey Stoner (Aus), Honda - one minute, 29.623 seconds
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Spa), Yamaha - 1:30.140
3. Dani Pedrosa (Spa), Honda - 1:30.575
4. Cal Crutchlow (GB), Yamaha - 1:30.763
5. Stefan Bradl (Ger), Honda - 1:30.798
6. Andrea Dovizioso (Ita), Yamaha - 1:31.200
7. Alvaro Bautista (Spa), Honda - 1:31.490
8. Valentino Rossi (Ita), Ducati - 1:31.661
9. Randy de Puniet (Fra), Aprilia - 1:31.667
10. Nicky Hayden (US), Ducati - 1:31.681