Cal Crutchlow holds down provisional pole position heading into the second day of the World Superbike weekend at Monza after out pacing his rivals on a drying circuit.

The Briton signalled his intentions with the fastest time in free practice, but a shower prior to the start of the provisional qualifying session meant the best lap times were only likely to occur in the closing minutes.

The first wet session of the season so far, after a few tentative revolutions in early stages, the riders began to put in representative lap times at around the mid-way mark, with Ruben Xaus and Jonathan Rea proving quickest in the damp conditions.

However, a dry line would eventually emerge and while Crutchlow's best of 1min 44.577secs fell short of his FP1 time by eight tenths, it was enough to give him a two tenth advantage over Rea.

A similar top ten to that of morning practice, Rea was followed by Ducati's Michel Fabrizio, while Troy Corser's fourth for BMW and Leon Haslam's fifth for Suzuki made it five different manufacturers inside the top five.

Proving similarly quick in the dry, Xaus was up there once more on the second S1000RR, ahead of Max Biaggi and Jakub Smrz. James Toseland and Luca Scassa rounded out the top ten.

Elsewhere, Tom Sykes completed an encouraging day in 11th position, ahead of Leon Camier and Max Neukirchner, although Noriyuki Haga will be less than pleased with just 15th position.

WSBK newcomer Daisaku Sakai continued to make progress in Q1 as he challenged inside the top ten when the circuit was damp, although the Japanese rider would slip to 19th when a fall ruled him out of action for the final ten minutes.

Although warmer conditions are likely to render Q1 fairly redundant when deciding who progresses into Q2, the questionable weather forecasts could well make this session more significant.

As such, should it rain more heavily tomorrow, then Chris Vermeulen, Broc Parkes, Roger Lee Hayden and Vittorio Iannuzzo would not progress to Superpole.


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