Noriyuki Haga has placed himself in a prime position to challenge for a fifth World Superbike win around Brands Hatch after qualifying in second place.

Haga is a considered something of a Brands Hatch expert following wins in 2004, 2005 and 2006, so was always expected to be challenging for the spoils come Superpole.

He very nearly secured it too after an exciting final minute of the session that saw him snatch the top spot off Troy Bayliss with a mere 45 seconds remaining. Unfortunately for him, Bayliss went one better and grabbed it back with 20 seconds left on the clock.

Nonetheless, second on the grid marks the fourth time Haga has qualified on the front row this season but, as he has proved before, he doesn't even need to start that high in order to prevail come race day.

"Obviously I am happy to be second and before Superpole I was a little bit worried because of the rain stopping out plans," he said. "I was trying to improve my feeling a dry track, and we did improve out performance.

With Bayliss alongside him, Haga is anticipated another tough race against the championship leader, but he is determined to make it win number four and five nonetheless.

"Anyway I will be trying absolutely my best for the races although I expect it to be very tough tomorrow. I really like this circuit and I love to win here so I will be trying my best to do that."