Sylvain Guintoli will start from pole position on his British Superbike Championship debut at Brands Hatch after reeling off a series of unbeatable laps during qualifying.

The Frenchman was on magnificent form through each phase of qualifying, becoming the first - and only - rider to dip into the 45secs bracket during Q2, before repeating it in the top ten shootout.

Ominously for his rivals, Guintoli would proceed to set a further three consecutive lap times on his Worx Crescent Suzuki that would have been good enough to maintain pole position regardless.

Indeed, the ex-MotoGP rider would hit the front with his first effort of the ten minute session before putting in a number of laps just a few hundredths slower than his best attempt.

In the end, just over a tenth separated him from second place Steve Plater, who produced a fine performance on the HM Plant Honda just an hour after qualifying fourth for the Supersport race, while he was also forced to recover from an accident in Q1.

He will be joined on the front row by pre-qualification favourites Hydrex Honda, with Stuart Easton edging team-mate Karl Harris by a tenth of a second to put them in a good position for the race.

Despite taking the challenge to Guintoli during Q1 and Q2, Leon Camier had to settle for fifth position on the Airwaves Yamaha, three tenths behind pole position, although the team will be satisfied to see James Ellison up to seventh too following a few nervous moments during the knockout phases.

Glen Richards splits them in sixth, while Yamahas complete the top ten, Graeme Gowland marking his BSB debut with a fine eighth place, ahead of Motorpoint/Henderson team-mate Chris Walker. Jon Kirkham starts tenth after sneaking into the deciding session.

Prior to the top ten shootout, a handful of high profile riders were eliminated in the second phase of qualifying, including Michael Rutter, who was forced to settle for 13th after falling on the Cooper Straight.

He was joined on the sidelines by all four Kawasaki riders, although John Laverty got close on the Buildbase ZX-10R in 11th. Gary Mason was also knocked out, but while he was comfortably the quickest Cup rider in 12th, he will be disappointed to have missed out on the top ten he has occupied for most of the weekend.

Jason O'Halloran starts 14th, ahead of MSS Kawasaki riders Simon Andrews and Julien Da Costa, Tom Tunstall, Tristan Palmer, Atsushi Watanabe and David Johnson.

The first phase of qualification, meanwhile, was halted for around 15 minutes shortly after the green flag when Tim Bourne suffered an accident at Graham Hill Bend and required medical attention.

When the session restarted, Ian Lowry would prove the biggest casualty, the Northern Irishman falling into the drop zone after Relentless Suzuki team-mate Watanabe improved in the closing stages and knocked him down.

Aaron Zanotti was the other championship class contender to fall at the first hurdle, along with Martin Jessopp, Alastair Fagan, Kenny Gilbertson, Peter Hickman, Matt Bond, Brian McCormack and Bourne.