Michele Pirro has taken his first World Supersport Championship pole position at Misano after choosing the correct moment to set his fastest lap time during a wet-dry qualifying session.

Lap times tumbled during the final ten minutes of the session as the circuit rapidly cleared from early morning showers, with Pirro getting to within a second of what the front runners were managing during free practice.

Although the times were certainly close - just 11 thousandths of a second covering the top three -, it was local favourite Pirro who emerged on top aboard his Lorenzini by Leoni Yamaha, marginally ahead of YZF-R6 counterpart and championship leader Cal Crutchlow.

Crutchlow, who topped both practice sessions prior to qualifying, was the man to beat in the closing stages as he slashed Anthony West's early effort on damp tarmac with just a few minutes remaining.

Still, while he had to make do with second, Crutchlow is well placed compared to title rivals Eugene Laverty and Kenan Sofuoglu, who otherwise start eighth and 11th respectively.

Massimo Roccoli was the third rider to get close to pole position aboard the Intermoto Czech Honda, while Katsuaki Fujiwara and Gianluca Nannelli ensured Kawasaki and Triumph are in contention ahead of race day too in fourth and fifth.

Although not quite able to capitalise on his early advantage - and crashing -, West enjoyed his best qualifying performance in some time in sixth, ahead of Mark Aitchison, Laverty, Andrew Pitt and Joan Lascorz, the latter also suffering a tumble.

Despite failing to qualify within 107 per cent, Matej Smrz, Robert Muresan and Kev Coghlan will still race.