Leon Camier has taken his first career British Superbike Championship pole position at Oulton Park after an audacious last gasp lap that prevented Stuart Easton from celebrating a similar feat.

Also a first pole position for the new GSE Racing prepared Airwaves Yamaha R1, Camier left it late to set his quickest lap, but his effort of 1min 35.657secs proved a comfortable three tenths clear of Easton on the Hydrex Honda.

Coming less than a month after Camier gave the bike a victorious debut at Brands Hatch, it could just as easily have been Easton celebrating a first BSB pole position after he pumped in a searing lap of 1min 35.976secs, one that Camier later admitted he didn't think he could beat.

Still, second position marks Easton's best-ever starting position and puts him ahead of team-mate and practice pace setter Karl Harris on the grid. The 'Bomber', who had topped all three practice sessions in the run up to qualifying, saw his chances unravel from Q2 when he suffered an off at Shell and was forced onto his spare bike for the top ten shootout.

However, while Harris would prove only marginally slower than Easton in third, he would be prevented from making a pole position charge when his clutch failed.

Following a slow start to the weekend, championship leader Sylvain Guintoli completed the front row on the Worx Crescent Suzuki, the Frenchman underlining his progress by proving just a tenth slower than Easton in fourth.

His late effort was enough to prevent Simon Andrews and MSS Colchester Kawasaki from landing a superb front row start after an outstanding performance that had him as high as third at one stage.

It was enough to out-qualify James Ellison on the second Airwaves Yamaha, as well as Glen Richards, who was a quiet seventh on the best of the HM Plant Hondas.

Having missed the Q1 cut at Brands Hatch whilst struggling with injury, Ian Lowry proved he is over the worst of his problems by placing eighth on the Relentless by TAS Suzuki, ahead of Chris Walker - who provided some joy on an otherwise dismal day for Rob Mac Racing - and Joshua Brookes, the Aussie marking his BSB qualifying debut with a thoroughly respectable top ten showing.

Outside the top ten, there was disappointment for Gary Mason, who couldn't match his giant-killing antics during free practice as he laboured to an eventual 12th position, just behind Jason O'Halloran.

Jon Kirkham, a top ten qualifier at Brands Hatch was another to miss out in 13th, the Jentin rider being joined by a trio of factory Kawasakis, Tristan Palmer, John Laverty and Julien Da Costa going 14th, 15th and 17th. Nonetheless, Kenny Gilbertson put in a fine performance on the Cup JX Fuelcard Kawasaki to qualify 18th.

Earlier, the opening qualifying phase prompted its fair share of surprises, with Rob Mac Racing watching two of its riders fail to make it through to the next stage.

Graeme Gowland's failure to qualify stemmed from a fall at Brittens on his first flying lap. He was placed 29th, ahead of Victor Cox, but he is a doubt for the races.

By contrast, North West 200 backed team-mate Michael Rutter was simply unable to find the speed he needed to progress. Sat on the cusp in 20th for much of the session, strong efforts from David Johnson pushed him out of contention before Peter Hickman slotted ahead in 21st to leave the most experienced rider on the grid 22nd.

Aaron Zanotti, Tom Tunstall, Dan Stewart, Alistair Fagan, Matt Bond and Brian McCormack were the other, less surprising, casualties.