Motegi - Jorge Lorenzo will start from pole in Sunday's MotoGP of Japan, having held off his Yamaha team-mate and championship leader Valentino Rossi, who will start second.
The Spaniard led all four practice sessions before clocking in 1min 43.790sec in the qualifying round Saturday, only 0.081sec faster than the veteran Italian rider.
Injured defending champion Marc Marquez will share the front row with the Yamaha duo, coming in 0.426sec after Lorenzo.
Rossi, who leads Lorenzo only by a slender 14-point advantage, has admitted that the season remained wide open with four more races in the play, including the Japanese race.
Thick cloud cover brought the temperature down at Motegi, where rainfall is expected for Sunday's Grand Prix.
Alex de Angelis crashed hard during the fourth free practice earlier Saturday, prompting a red flag to temporarily suspend the session.
The ART rider was reportedly conscious and breathing, but was taken by a chopper to Dokkyo Hospital in the region for checks and treatment.
He left the circuit speaking and moving his limbs, MotoGP.com said. He reported chest and back pain and will be checked in hospital by CT scan, it said.
Grid for Sunday's Japan Grand Prix after qualifying on Saturday:
1. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Yamaha) 1min 43.790sec, 2. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) at 0.081sec, 3. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) 0.426, 4. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) 0.532, 5. Andrea Iannone (ITA/Ducati) 0.646, 6. Dani Pedrosa (ESP/Honda) 0.792, 7. Aleix Espargaro (ESP/Suzuki) 1.019, 8. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Honda) 1.142, 9. Bradley Smith (GBR/Yamaha Tech3) 1.277, 10. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Suzuki) 1.291.
1. Romano Fenati (ITA/KTM) 1min56.484sec, 2. Miguel Oliveira (POR/KTM) at 0.173sec, 3. Jorge Navarro (ESP/Honda) 0.236, 4. Niccolo Antonelli (ITA/Honda) 0.403, 5. Enea Bastianini (ITA/Honda) 0.443, 6. Danny Kent (GBR/Honda) 0.514, 7. Isaac Vinales (ESP/KTM) 0.533, 8. Jakub Kornfeil (CZE/KTM) 0.605, 9. Livio Loi (BEL/Honda) 0.608, 10. Brad Binder (RSA/KTM) 0.663.