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Alex Lowes has once again upped the pressure on his MCE British Superbike Championship rivals by claiming a dominant pole position for the second 'Title Showdown' round at Silverstone.

The WFR Honda rider, who is an outside contender for this year's crown despite having not won a BSB race, came into qualifying as the hot favourite for pole position having paced all three practice sessions, but his lap time of 2m 05.662secs would still surpass all expectations.

Proving almost a full second faster than his nearest rivals, Assen podium winner Lowes is now well placed to secure a timely maiden BSB triumph as his title credentials improve with each event.

However, despite Lowes's large time margin over the opposition, title rivals Tommy Hill, Michael Laverty, Josh Brookes and Shane Byrne remain close in terms of position, the quartet following up in second, third, fourth and fifth respectively.

Behind them, BSB veteran Chris Walker secured one of his best grid starts of the season in sixth position, ahead of 'BSB Cup' front runner James Westmoreland, while Buildbase BMW had something to celebrate as both Barry Burrell and Peter Hickman made the top ten shootout in eighth and ninth position.

Danny Buchan rounds out the top ten, though the youngster was unable to set a time in the top ten shootout after suffering technical issues on the MSS Bathams Kawasaki during the closing stages of Q2.

A mechanical problem that would contaminate the circuit, the luckless Jakub Smrz would subsequently miss out on the chance of another top ten start when he slipped on the fluid and came down. He will start 11th, ahead of the sixth and final title contender Tommy Bridewell, the Supersonic BMW rider continuing to struggle for form at Silverstone.

Elsewhere, there was also qualifying disappointment for Noriyuki Haga, who could only manage 19th on the grid, while Alastair Seeley's dismal season reached a new low when he couldn't break out of Q1, the Tyco Suzuki rider left 22nd on the grid.