Reigning World Superbike champion and 2012 points leader Carlos Checa finished day one of the Assen round with fourth place in first qualifying.

With just a few minutes of dry time available, the Althea Ducati rider more than ensured his place in Superpole - should second qualifying also be hit by rain - and later worked on his wet set-up.

"I was aware that rain could catch us out at any time and that I therefore needed to make some fast laps right away, in the first minutes, also because if it rains tomorrow morning, today's session will be what sets the positions for the Superpole," he confirmed.

"So I'm fairly satisfied, we're fourth for now and will continue to work on set-ups tomorrow so that we are prepared for Sunday's races, whatever the conditions."

Young team-mate Davide Giugliano was among those caught out by the weather.

"We went back on track when it started to rain hard but unfortunately we left it late and in the short time available I was unable to find the right feeling," he said. I hope that it doesn't rain tomorrow morning for second qualifying because starting from 19th place will not be easy - from that grid position the first corner is a long way off and you see nothing."

Max Biaggi, Checa's nearest title rival, is also presently out of Superpole after qualifying a provisional 17th.

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