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Tom Sykes will head into Superpole at Monza feeling confident that he can make it four pole positions in a row after moving to the top of the timesheets in FP2.

In a session defined by tricky conditions that started damp but would be dry in the final minutes, Sykes swept to the front with an excellent lap of 1min 42.766secs, quicker than he managed in Q1 despite the less than optimum track surface.

Furthermore, Sykes was able to post an exceptional top speed of 339.5km/h - almost 5km/h faster than the record top speed shared by Max Biaggi and Michel Fabrizio.

It was also enough to put a clear six tenths between himself and local favourite Max Biaggi, who bounced back to second position despite suffering a fall in the closing stages.

Indeed, laps were kept to a minimum as the riders waited until the closing stages to head onto track, but while Sykes was able to put in a time representative of a dry surface, the margins between his rivals were otherwise broad.

As such, Leon Haslam was third quickest, but almost two seconds behind Sykes, while Carlos Checa was able to haul his Ducati up to fourth and David Salom was a lofty fifth aboard the unfancied Pedercini Kawasaki.

The final minutes were a flurry of incident as some riders struggled to adapt to the evolving track, with Biaggi, John Hopkins, Jakub Smrz, Chaz Davies and Eugene Laverty all suffering crashes, the latter failing to set a time as a result.