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World Superbike rookie Davide Giugliano proved his timesheet topping pace in free practice was by no means a fluke as he ended first qualifying in front once again.

Just as he did in free practice, Giugliano timed it late to make his move up the order, but his lap of 1min 59.452secs was not only good enough to put him ahead of the competition, it was also set just before rain brought an effective early end to proceedings.

Preventing any rider from getting close to his marker with just over five minutes remaining, Marco Melandri, Eugene Laverty and Tom Sykes had to settle for second, third and fourth as the only other riders to break the 2mins barrier.

Out-classed by his team-mate for the first time this season, Carlos Checa was still a notable fifth fastest on the second of the Althea Ducati machines, ahead of home favourite Jakub Smrz and BMW Italia duo Ayrton Badovini and Michel Fabrizio.

Ascending into the top ten, Chaz Davies and Leon Haslam were ninth and tenth quickest on their respective ParkinGO Aprilia and BMW machines.

A session that was blighted by drizzle from start-to-finish, though the inclement weather conditions would only prove detrimental to lap times in the final five minutes when the heavens opened, it is thought to set a tone for the remainder of the weekend.

Indeed, with rain forecast throughout Saturday, the Q1 session could prove crucial to deciding who progressed to Superpole.

With this in mind, Max Biaggi and Jonathan Rea may be thankful to have ended just inside the cut-off points in 14th and 15th respectively, while the likes of Hiroshi Aoyama, David Salom and Lorenzo Zanetti may rue just missing out.