Defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo secured pole for the Australian MotoGP with a lap-record time at Phillip Island.
Lorenzo had to battle with a seagull before securing top spot with an astonishing 1.27.899 lap, ahead of championship leader Marc Marquez and team-mate Valentino Rossi.
The Spaniard had set a provisional pole of 1.28.681 with the bird stuck in his front fork, breaking Casey Stoner’s 2008 record in the process.
"I had an impact with a bird on the first few laps on the bike,” the 26-year-old told MotoGP.com.
“Luckily we could take it off and I could make a second attempt without a passenger, maybe because of this I went a little bit faster and was able to make pole position."
"I’m very happy because I pushed to the limit to make the lap and I made a very good time.
Lorenzo also spoke of problems with the tyres – Phillip Island has had a new track surface laid for 2013 – and how it might affect his race.
Following Friday’s practice, which saw scintillating lap times but high tyre degradation, Bridgestone had requested for riders to use the harder tyre available to them for Sunday’s race.
“We have some problems with the tyre because the new asphalt makes a lot of graining,” said the Spaniard.
“We’ll see if there are decisions from Dorna or Bridgestone tomorrow for the race. If we can make a good start we will try to get away at the beginning."
Second placed Marquez can secure the title in his rookie season if he betters Lorenzo’s result by eight points or more.
His Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa finished qualifying in fifth place behind the again impressive Alvaro Bautista, with Britain’s Cal Crutchlow completing the top six.
Australian MotoGP Qualifying Result
1. Jorge Lorenzo (Spa) Yamaha, 1:27.899
2. Marc Marquez (Spa) Repsol Honda +0.221 seconds
3. Valentino Rossi (Ita) Yamaha +0.748
4. Alvaro Bautista (Spa) Gresini Honda +0.814
5. Dani Pedrosa (Spa) Repsol Honda +0.849
6. Cal Crutchlow (GB) Yamaha Tech +0.910