Light rain at the onset of Qualifying 2 generated a struggle for the 18 riders who'd made it that much, together with Gardner an early pace-setter onto a 1:51.306s.
Lowes knocked off that using a 1:51.088so before Fernandez went over three tenths quicker.
Lowes then got down to some 1:50.990s but couldn't get any nearer, together with the pedal rate throughout the area beginning to diminish.
Navarro, nevertheless, managed a 1:51.097so on his final tour that bumped Gardner off front row.
"It was a positive day for me personally," explained Gardner.
"I am content with the speed that we showed at qualifying. This morning we had a fantastic FP3 too.
"In the day, the rain at the start of Q2 made it a challenging session with all the several incidents and yellow flags. But I'm pleased to have chosen a place on the first two rows of the grid.
"We're prepared for the race and, like alwayswe will do our very best to have a fantastic outcome."
Race start is expected at 20:20 AEST, together with 21 laps that the travel.