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Jakub Smrz has secured his second World Superbike Championship pole position of the season after just edging out home favourite Leon Camier in a crash-strewn Superpole at Silverstone.
An exciting session that was again dictated by the tricky weather conditions, though the earlier FP2 session had been dry, a deluge before Superpole meant it was declared as wet and split into two 20min sessions.
With lap times in the deciding session gradually coming down as the chequered flag loomed, a good grid position was as much about timing as anything else, but with Davide Giugliano, Carlos Checa and Tom Sykes all terminally crashing out before then to put themselves out of the reckoning, it became a five-way battle for pole position.
It was an accolade that looked to be going the way of Camier, who was consistently lowering his best times to hover towards the top of the timesheets. Indeed, though he looked to have pole position in his grasp when he went eight tenths faster than his closest rival, it wasn't quite enough to beat Smrz, the Czech rider rounding the course seconds later to stop the clock at 2mins 20.810secs, just four thousandths of a second quicker.
Marking his second pole position of the year, having started from the front at Miller Motorsports Park, the result is also maintains Effenbert Liberty Ducati's status as the only team to have denied Kawasaki in qualifying this season.
Despite agonisingly missing out on what would have been his first-ever WSBK pole position, Camier can be pleased with comfortably his and FIXI Crescent Suzuki's best Superpole performance of the season, the Briton having qualified no higher than 13th in the last five rounds.
Almost as surprising was Sylvain Guintoli in third place, the newly signed PATA Ducati rider putting in an excellent performance on his debut for the Italian team, while BMW's Leon Haslam raised hopes of a home win on Sunday by rounding out the front row.
Giugliano will start in fifth place, but will be frustrated that his crash at turn two cost him the chance at challenging for pole position having been quickest at the time of his tumble, while title challenger Marco Melandri was a solid sixth, comfortably ahead of key rival Max Biaggi.