Though he is already a winner at World Superbike level, Marco Melandri notched up another milestone in his burgeoning Yamaha career by claiming a maiden front row start at Miller Motorsports Park.
His first visit to the American circuit, Melandri shrugged off his inexperience and the wet conditions to make steady improvements over the course of Superpole, snatching the third fastest time with his final effort.
Only the second time he has out-qualified Yamaha team-mate Eugene Laverty, who starts alongside him in fourth place, Melandri was pleased – and surprised – to be as high as third.
“I actually didn't expect to secure a front row place. I'm really happy and I want to thank the team for their hard work over the weekend. [The first day] didn't go as well as I'd have hoped and the morning was also very difficult in the heavy rain.
“We changed the set up and made great progress before this afternoon. I don't know what the weather will be like in the races and a lot depends on that. I'm really pleased with today but tomorrow could be another story. I hope luck will be on my side!”