Alex Lowes kept reigning MCE British Superbike champion Tommy Hill at bay to secure pole position for tomorrow's Bank Holiday meeting at Cadwell Park.
It was the second pole position coup of the WFR Honda rider's career as he held on by 0.029s from Swan Yamaha ace Hill, with a revitalised John Kirkham taking third ahead of his Samsung Honda team-mate Michael Laverty.
Karl Harris maintained his excellent form at the Lincolnshire track to put the Quattro Plant Kawasaki in fifth position as less than half a second covered the top five.
Danny Buchan rode magnificently to seal sixth place on the grid followed by Peter Hickman and James Westmoreland.
Mark Aitchison and Michael Rutter rounded out the top ten, with MSS Bathams Kawasaki man Rutter losing out in the final session after a crash in the opening stages.
Lowes topped the times in all three sessions during final qualifying to underline his superiority on the CBR1000RR Fireblade.
Tyco Suzuki's Josh Brookes and Alastair Seeley failed to progress to Q3, with Ian Lowry and Tommy Bridewell, both Showdown contenders, also failing to make the cut in the second session.
A rain shower left the circuit wet ahead of the opening session and many of the leading contenders only ventured onto the course when it began to dry out.
A frantic shootout saw positions change with almost every lap, but in the end Lowes went top on his final lap from Kirkham and Rutter, as Bridewell and Seeley only just scraped through to Q2.
Gary Mason, plus Tristan Palmer, Tom Grant, Robbin Harms and Tom Tunstall all failed to progress.
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