In front of a crowd of appreciative countrymen, American Ben Spies took his first pole position in MotoGP by "laying it all on the line" when it mattered most. Spies' pole lap came with 1:59 left in the session, immediately after his soon to be team mate Jorge Lorenzo had vaulted into the top position. Lorenzo looked a bit disappointed to be relegated to second position, but said that being on the front row was "OK" given the conditions. Nicky Hayden, who said that the softer Bridgstone compound "felt like a qualifier" sat in the catbird seat during the final minutes of the session and held on to flank Lorenzo on the outside of the front row.
Andrea Dovizioso, Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner, who had all sat near the top of the sheets during the session were unable to come close to the top trio in the dying minutes. Valentino Rossi had a brief flurry of hope when he went third with 25 minutes to go but his execrable luck on the weekend continued when he threw his Fiat Yamaha down the road in turn six with just over six minutes to go.