Leon Haslam put aside any qualms about riding the Nurburgring for the first time this weekend by storming to third position on the grid for the latest round of the World Superbike Championship.

The Briton starts from the front row for the second time this season - he qualified in third position at Assen too - after shining in Superpole having already hinted at his pace throughout free practice and provisional qualification.

Looking to make up ground in the battle for fourth position in the standings, where he is currently 26 and 20 points adrift of Jonathan Rea and Max Biaggi respectively, Haslam was delighted with his qualifying performance and is confident of another podium turn come race day.

"I am really happy with my results today," the Stiggy Honda rider, who has stood on the rostrum four times this season, said. "I had a very good summer break, and then to come back to the championship and put the machine on the front row is just fantastic.

"I am over the moon and I am really looking forward to racing tomorrow. I had a good wet practice on Friday and after today's results I am feeling really confident I can ride a good race tomorrow."

By contrast, team-mate John Hopkins continued to suffer in the lower half of the mid-field, the American scraping into Superpole before eventually qualifying in 19th position.

"I had some minor technical problems that kept me in the garage a lot. I could not put as many consistent laps as I would have wanted to. Without that consistence it was hard to push for a good lap time. It left us too far behind from where we would like to be.

"Leon has shown what the bike is capable of and has definitely set the bench mark. I will try to get into a good rhythm in the warm-up sessions and try to get off the line as best as possible to improve the situation we are in now."


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