Noriyuki Haga has taken provisional pole position for the latest round of the World Superbike Championship at Vallelunga after getting a good lap in before the weather deteriorated further.

While the times were slower than that from morning practice, the name at the top of the timesheets remained the same as Haga hit the front after less than ten minutes and then held sway until around the mid-way mark when most riders decided no better times could be achieved.

Indeed, weather was a factor throughout the day, just as it was at Donington Park, and even Haga was off his bike on two occasions, although he was still able to produce a best lap of 1min 50.595secs, three tenths quicker than Ruben Xaus.

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The Spaniard leapt up from 23rd in practice to second in provisional qualifying, edging out fellow Ducati rider Troy Bayliss, while Troy Corser completed a very encouraging day for Yamaha in fourth.

Ryuichi Kiyonari recovered from his fall in free practice to move back into a position he is beginning to get better accustomed too, the Japanese rider going fifth best to lead the Honda charge.

As a whole, Honda had a good session, with Gregorio Lavilla a strong sixth on the Paul Bird Motorsport machine, just ahead of Kiyonari's team-mate Carlos Checa and Roberto Rolfo in eighth on the Althea machine. Rolfo needs to make a good impression though having been confirmed today that he won't be riding for the team in 2009.

Chris Walker and Kenan Sofuoglu looked competitive in tenth and 12th, although the series of Hondas would be split by Regis Laconi, a good ninth for Kawasaki, and Yukio Kagayama on the best of the Suzukis.

If drier weather returns for Q2, the times and positions here are likely to be redundant, but for the moment, Lorenzo Lanzi, Fonsi Nieto, Jakub Smrz and Michel Fabrizio finish off the 'Superpole' positions.

That notably leaves out Max Biaggi and Max Neukirchner, the duo only managing 17th and 19th fastest respectively.

As well as Haga, Makoto Tamada, Checa, Smrz, Shinichi Nakatomi, Neukirchner Christian Zaiser and Matt Lynn were off their bikes at some point.