Ben Spies is continuing to prove how difficult he is to beat over a single World Superbike lap after cruising to a fourth consecutive Superpole at Assen.
Maintaining his perfect qualification record so far this season, Spies was in imperious form around the Dutch circuit, mastering the iconic curves to smash another record and add to his Phillip Island, Losail and Valencia feats.
Having topped three of the four sessions so far this weekend, Spies was the big favourite for pole position come Superpole, but while Max Neukirchner set the standard with a new lap record in Q1, outstanding times in Q2 and then the deciding Q3 ensured it was the American that would eventually prevail.
Spies was, however, run relatively close by second place Jakub Smrz, who produced his third front row grid position of the season with a time just a tenth adrift of Spies and three tenths up on the next rider.
Indeed, Smrz was a full two tenths quicker than anyone else in the tricky final sector, although it wasn't quite enough for the Czech rider to score a famous pole position for the privateer Guandalini Ducati team.
Despite losing time by running wide at the final corner, Leon Haslam did enough to give Stiggy Racing their first front row starting position in Superbikes, a big boost for the team following John Hopkins accident in practice yesterday.
Indeed, although his effort of 1min 38.072secs, set early on in the session, was expected to be undercut by more than just Spies and Smrz, it was still more than good enough to see off attempts by a number of other riders, seemingly hurting from having used up their option tyres in the earlier sessions.
Regarding the title race, Noriyuki Haga remains a threat to Spies in fourth position, the Japanese rider never able to match Spies' single-lap pace, but no doubt confident he can repeat his double Valencia victory from the front row once again.
A quiet final session for most of the riders as the best times tailed off, Michel Fabrizio starts fifth, with Neukirchner fading to sixth having shown pole position challenging pace in Q1 and Q2. Having only just sneaked into the shootout, Carlos Checa and Tom Sykes will start seventh and eighth having been unable to progress any higher.