Aprilia will start from their best combined qualifying position of the season at Donington Park after Max Biaggi and Shinya Nakano caused a stir by both securing front row grid slots.
Aprilia's progress around the British circuit had been steady for much of the weekend, but Biaggi signaled their intentions by setting the quickest lap time during the opening knockout phase of Superpole.
With both comfortably making it into the top eight shootout, Biaggi and Nakano proceeded to time their fastest laps well and grab second and fourth respectively before a shower prevented their rivals from challenging.
While Biaggi acknowledged the luck involved in their grid position and the fact his RSV-4 isn't quite where he wants it to be, he is confident of a good result on race day.
“In the last session I was really lucky because no one expected any drops and then it really started to rain. I started soon because I had nothing more to learn after what I had done in free practice and I thought I must put my head down and go as fast as I can.
“Second place is good for us, for tomorrow I'm quite OK, maybe not exactly the way I wanted to be but OK. It's great to be here, I like this track, my bike could be a little bit better but I think I can go well tomorrow.”
For team-mate Nakano, fourth position signals something of a breakthrough following a season spent adapting to the rigours of the Superbike class.
“We had some luck, but we were already doing fast laps. Then there were some drops of rain so I made one lap and a good time. That is my best qualifying in Superbike so far. On Friday we struggle in the rainy condition, but the lap times are getting better. I know Donington very well and it is great pleasure to race in front of many fans.”