British Superbike Championship leader Shane Byrne has taken pole position for the third round at Croft after staving off the attack from Yamaha riders Michael Laverty and Loris Baz.

The HM Plant Honda rider had played second best to Laverty during the opening two qualifying phases, but came good with his best lap of the day during the shootout to take the top spot by just over a tenth of a second.

Indeed, Laverty had looked on course for pole position after setting a 1min 20.045secs lap during Q2, but while that would have been good enough to beat Byrne in Q3, he couldn't quite replicate that form when it mattered.

Having starred in qualifying at Brands Hatch and Croft, Baz was another to get close to the top spot at Croft, the young Frenchman falling just two tenths shy of claiming a pole position for the Motorpoint Yamaha team.

Michael Rutter put in his best qualifying effort of the season in fourth position aboard the Rapid-Bathams Ducati, albeit six tenths adrift of the battle for pole. It was enough to edge out James Westmoreland on the second Motorpoint Yamaha, the Supersport graduate mirroring his team-mate's pace with an excellent run to fifth on the grid.

Currently second in the standings, Stuart Easton was a fine sixth for MSS Colchester Kawasaki, ahead of the impressive Dan Linfoot, the SMT Honda rider breaking into the top ten for the first time this season.

Tommy Hill starts eighth fastest on the second of the Swan Yamahas, the injured rider disappointed having set the second best time during Q2. Oulton Park winner John Hopkins and the impressive Peter Hickman round out the top ten, though the latter failed to set a time in Q3.

Outside the top ten, Josh Brookes was a disappointing 12th fastest on the Relentless Suzuki, while reigning champion Ryuichi Kiyonari's dismal weekend continued as he could only manage 14th on the grid, behind even Alex Lowes, the WFR Honda man qualifying as the top EVO rider in 13th, despite a spill in Q2.

Jon Kirkham was another high-profile name to miss out on a top ten berth in 16th having missed the morning FP3 session with technical issues.