Leon Camier has denied Tommy Hill a pole position on his return to British Superbike Championship competition at Mallory Park after pulling out a strong late effort.
Having endured a dismal weekend up to qualifying following a series of technical difficulties throughout free practice, Camier shrugged off his lack of track time by laying down a quick marker during the opening qualification phase.
Although Hill, who had been quickest in all three practice sessions leading to qualifying, struck back in Q2 and again during the early stages of Superpole, Camier's effort of 56.016secs three minutes from the chequered flag could not be bettered.
Even so, Hill's performance on the Worx Crescent Suzuki in what is his first BSB qualifying session in more than two years, remains well worthy of praise.
With exception to Camier's pole position, his fifth of the season, the remainder of the front row had an unusual look to it, with Chris Walker and Richard Cooper completing the leading positions.
Walker starts from his best starting position of the season on the Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha, although his efforts are somewhat overshadowed by that of Cooper, who will sit alongside him on his Co-ordit Yamaha. It is the second time this season that a Cup rider has started on the front row following Gary Mason's performance earlier in the year at Thruxton.
Kawasaki will have two representatives on the second row, although it was the Buildbase bike of John Laverty that will front their charge this time in fifth place, marginally ahead of the MSS Colchester machine of Simon Andrews.
They will start ahead of the second Airwaves Yamaha of James Ellison and Karl Harris, while Graeme Gowland and Stuart Easton will get away in ninth and tenth having also reached the latter stages of Superpole.
Elsewhere, Michael Rutter just missed out on the top ten in 11th on his debut for SMT Honda, although it was a dismal session for HM Plant Honda, with both Josh Brookes and Steve Brogan struggling well down the order. The Knockhill pole sitter starts 17th, while Brogan – deputising for Glen Richards this weekend – didn't make it out of Q1, leaving him 23rd.