Leon Camier is well placed to take a definitive step towards the 2009 MCE British Superbike title after easing to his eighth pole position of the season at Croft.

As expected, the runaway championship leader was difficult to beat during the three qualification phases, cruising into the final stages before pumping in a lap some eight tenths faster than his closest competitor.

The Airwaves Yamaha man is targeting his 16th and 17th wins of the season at Croft this weekend, his pole position leaving him in a good position to keep his record-breaking run of victories going.

His nearest competition would come from Simon Andrews, the Confused.com Kawasaki rider doing a mighty job to haul the ZX-10R into his and the team's best grid position of the season thus far.

Andrews, who recorded his first BSB podium last time out at Cadwell Park, produced a late effort that was enough to edge out Stuart Easton, the Scot having led the chase for Camier during free practice.

Another to make a late charge towards the front of the field was Josh Brookes, the Australian leaving it late to move from a provisional seventh to snatch a spot on the back of the front row.

It was enough to demote James Ellison, Camier's nearest title contender facing a challenge from fifth position on the grid around his home circuit after Brookes squeezed him out by a mere five thousandths of a second.

He will be joined on the second row by giant-killer Gary Mason, who can wrap up the Mirror.co.uk Cup title this weekend, provided he scores a pair of class wins and Peter Hickman isn't second on both occasions.

His performance on the dated Quay Garage machine was enough to edge out Hydrex Honda's Tommy Hill, the team's new signing not quite being able to match his pace in practice but only missing out on a spot alongside Easton by less than a tenth of a second.

Rounding out the top ten was Ian Lowry on the Relentless Suzuki and Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha pair Graeme Gowland and Chris Walker, Gowland doing a particularly good job after injuring his foot at Cadwell Park.

With the 23-strong grid prompting a slight change to proceedings, the opening knockout phase would see positions 16 to 23 decided, with the second deciding 11 down to 15.

The change would contribute to a handful of high-profile names going missing from the top ten, most notably returnee Ryuichi Kiyonari, who will start a disappointing 11th on the HM Plant Honda after being nudged out of contention late in the session.

He will be joined in the lower reaches of grid by Sylvain Guintoli, the Frenchman stuck in 17th after crashing early on during the first knockout phase and being unable to recover sufficient ground to progress any further.

Others to miss out included Kawasaki pair Julian Da Costa and John Laverty in 13th and 12th respectively, the latter suffering a fall during Q1 but recovering to continue into Q2.

Karl Harris, meanwhile, will start a lowly 19th on his return to the Rob Mac Yamaha team.

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