Leon Haslam is well positioned to extend his advantage in the World Superbike Championship standings after comfortably out-qualifying his key rivals at Assen.

The Suzuki rider, who is currently 18 points ahead of Max Biaggi in the standings, will start from the front row for the fourth round in succession as he looks to increase a lead he has held since the opening round of the year.

His cause has been aided by Biaggi's failure to crack the top ten, while Carlos Checa is behind in sixth and Noriyuki Haga could only manage a lowly 15th.

Indeed, Haslam, who was a double podium winner for Stiggy Honda last season, is confident he will be even better placed in the title race come Sunday.

"I am on the front row, so I'm happy," he said. "Anything else would've been a bit of a disappointment the way the season is going and although pole would've been good, front row is fine.

"I'm pretty happy with the bike on race tyres, but I didn't go any quicker on qualifying tyres, so that's good for the races tomorrow. I'm not sure why we didn't go any faster on qualifying tyres and it's an area that we'll have to look at next time out.

"My last lap today would've been faster, but I made a little mistake in the last sector and lost time. I'm not sure if it would've been fast enough to beat Jonathan, but it might've been good enough to get ahead of Jakub and Troy.

"It's going to be a long, hard day tomorrow, but I don't usually suffer physically in races, so I'm looking forward to fighting for podiums again and keeping my series lead."