Japan's Ryuichi Kiyonari claimed a sensational pole position at Knockhill as the triple champion edged out Josh Brookes by just 0.004s on his final lap to return to the top spot in Datatag Extreme Qualifying for the first time since 2010.
The pole position was intensely fought over in the final minutes of the session with a rapid six changes to the position at the top in the final minutes of Q3 but it was Buildbase BMW who claimed their first pole of the season. The top ten fight for pole position saw four nations covered by just +0.569s.
Kiyonari was delighted with the result, he said: "I am very happy, because the last session was hard because you did a lap, went faster and then went back positions as everyone was pushing so much. I thought I could have gone faster, but I was nervous and I kept making mistakes and then the last lap I just thought 'go' and we did it. I am happy for the team and I will try and do it again tomorrow. We will push hard and hopefully we can win, or at least be on the podium."
Initially Tommy Bridewell had gunned in the first flying laps to post the fastest time with the Milwaukee Yamaha rider pushing hard. He will drop three grid positions for tomorrow's opening race after his delayed response to the black/orange flags in free practice three this morning, so after dropping to seventh will start tenth on the grid.
Shane 'Shakey' Byrne then went fastest on the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki but he wasn't holding the position for long as Brookes went to the top for Milwaukee Yamaha. Again the Australian held it for less than a lap's time with Stuart Easton then moving ahead, only for the Scot to be displaced by Brookes again in the closing minutes.
Brookes was back in the pitlane with spots of rain at certain sectors but Kiyonari wasn't done with his fight for the pole position and the triple champion proved he is truly up for the battle with a final lap that fired him to the top.
Brookes and Byrne complete the front row with Easton heading row two alongside James Ellison and James Westmoreland on the second Buildbase BMW. Jakub Smrz was back in the top ten for the Millsport Ducati team and is joined on the third row by Chris Walker and Michael Rutter.
Ian Hutchinson had his stint in Q1 ended dramatically with a huge high-side off the FFX Yamaha, the TT legend was able to walk away from the crash but he will start 23rd on the grid for tomorrow's opening race.