Markus Eisenbichler finished first in qualifying in Garmisch-Partenkirchen ©Getty Images

Markus Eisenbichler topped qualifying for the second leg of the Four Hills Tournament in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, with former champion Stefan Kraft a surprise elimination.

Gemany's Eisenbichler jumped 137.0 metres on the German venue's large hill, for a score of 144.9 points.

That was 0.9 more than Ryōyū Kobayashi could muster in second place.

Japan's Kobayashi is the early Four Hills leader, following his win in Oberstdorf earlier this week.

Karl Geiger was third, scoring 138.4 points, as hopes remain high that there could be a first German winner of the Four Hills Tournament in 20 years.

Geiger is fifth after one event and Eisenbichler seventh.

Austrian Jan Hörl was fourth in qualifying as no Norwegian athlete cracked the top 10, although six were in the top 50 and therefore reached tomorrow's final.

Defending champion Kamil Stoch of Poland was 16th.

Kobayashi is a former Four Hills champion and including the Oberstdorf triumph has already won four Ski Jumping World Cup legs this season.