Sylvain Guintoli will start on the front row of the World Superbike race for the first time in Germany after posting an impressive performance during Superpole.
The Frenchman, who has scored in every race this season but is now the highest-placed rider overall to have not reached the podium, shrugged off modest results in provisional qualifying to come out fighting in Superpole.
Cruising into SP3 with a then record-breaking 1min 54.755secs, although Guintoli couldn't quite match that come the deciding session, he was still fast enough for fourth, which became third when James Toseland was penalised.
Indeed, while it is fifth time he has made the top eight shootout, this is the first time he has made it onto the front row, the former MotoGP rider keen to now turn it into a maiden podium.
“After going fastest in the second Superpole I thought I could go even better in Superpole 3, but I had no more qualifying tyres left,” he said. “I had burned one getting stuck behind people, so I had to put a used one on for the last part of the last session.
“But I am happy because I have a good pace and I like this track. This circuit is fantastic! I just love the whole speed thing and, considering that this is my first time here, I'm very happy with how things have gone so far.
“The first corner is more technical, but the rest of the track, with all the blind approaches and fast corners, is brilliant. At the moment, I do not know what my race tyres will be because I have done similar times with each main tyre. So, before making the final choice, we'll analyse things and work out which ones we'll use. I think tomorrow is going to be a good day and I can't wait for races to start.”
A good session for Suzuki Alstare all round, Leon Haslam will start in fifth position.
“The tyres that we have here are the same concept as the tyres we had in Brno and Misano and we struggled with them there. Ultimately I feel that the new tyre has more grip and lasts longer but, at the moment, the problem is that the extra grip on the rear is hampering the way the bike is steering.
“That's something we found in Brno and Misano and it is something we just have to work hard at trying to find a solution. Sylvain is getting the tyres to work well and that has helped us.
“I am quickest on a race tyre set-up, on the old 625 tyre. To compete against everyone else on race tyres like I did in Superpole was good.
“We have made some headway with the new tyre and have one more chance to make it work. Overall though, our bike works well here and I like the track. I'm sure tomorrow will be a good battle and I'm really looking forward to it.”