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Tom Sykes has taken a fourth World Superbike Championship pole position of the season on home soil at Donington Park after another outstanding qualifying performance.

Consolidating his status as the dominant figure in Superpole this year, the Kawasaki rider obliterated the existing lap record by three tenths of a second to lead a British 1-2 in front of the local fans.

Almost as impressive was second place man Leon Haslam, who got to within a tenth of Sykes at the head of the timesheets to snare a spot alongside him, while Marco Melandri completed BMW's strong Saturday by joining him on the front row.

With less than a second covering the top 15 after Q2, the battle for outright pole position was destined to be a close one, but while the first two knockout phases suggested BMW would be the bike to beat as Melandri and Haslam set the pace, it was Sykes that came out fighting in SP3.

Indeed, while Haslam was able to sneak beneath the existing lap record of 1min 28.099secs in SP2 with a 1min 28.032secs - on race tyres -, Sykes's first SP3 effort of 1min 27.716secs looked insurmountable as he widened the goalposts.

Haslam had also saved his best for last and while he was not able to get the better of his fellow Briton, it remains his best qualifying performance on a BMW.

Instead, Sykes will start from pole position for the fourth time this season as he looks to secure the first British WSBK victory at Donington Park since James Toseland in 2007. A good weekend could also see Sykes take the series lead, making him the first Kawasaki rider to do so since Scott Russell in 1993.

Marking the first time BMW has gotten both of its riders on the front row, Haslam's team-mate Melandri starts from third position, where he will line up alongside long-time adversary Max Biaggi, the Aprilia rider finding a turn of speed in Superpole having maintained a fairly low profile all weekend.

The same can be said for Sylvain Guintoli, who came into Superpole having provisionally qualified well down on his Effenbert Liberty Ducati team-mate Jakub Smrz. However, while Smrz joined Haslam in undercutting the previous lap record during SP2, his pace eluded him in SP3.

As such, while Guintoli will start fifth on the grid, Smrz is only eighth having lapped seven tenths off what he managed just minutes earlier.

Between them, Jonathan Rea and Leon Camier make it four Briitsh riders inside the top eight, the latter reaching SP3 for the first time this season (though he started sixth at Phillip Island after Superpole was cancelled).

Behind them, one notable omission from the front two rows will be title contender Carlos Checa, who failed to make the SP2 cut for the first time since Monza 2011.

He will be joined on row three by BMW Italia riders Ayrton Badovini and Michel Fabrizio, while Eugene Laverty's disappointing weekend continued with a spot down the order.