Marco Melandri has jokingly thanked Max Biaggi for helping him secure the advantage he needed to take pole position over his arch rival at Motorland Aragon.

The Italian will start from the front of a World Superbike race for the first time after using Biaggi to track his lines around the Spanish venue during the top eight 'shootout', Melandri emerging a little over a tenth ahead of his countryman.

Having never had a pole position at MotoGP level, Melandri was delighted with the performance, particularly after he was very nearly eliminated during the first knockout phase when a decision to not return to the circuit for safety lap left him 12th.

"It's awesome," the Yamaha rider said. "I am very happy. I couldn't think about that after Superpole 1 where I almost lost the chance to go through to the next one. The team have done a great job after Misano - here we didn't change as much but the bike is working well.

"When I saw Max in front of everyone, I thought it was good to pass them quickly and follow him for the lap time. I have to say thanks to him, because he helped me to improve my lap time."

Looking ahead to the races, Melandri expects the scorching weather conditions to take its toll on tyres, though he is confident he can make them work.

"Tomorrow will be a difficult race for the tyres, for the body, for everyone... so we have to be consistent."

Melandri's last world championship pole position came during the 250GP Valencia Grand Prix in 2002.


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