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Davide Giugliano's best efforts in Q1 at the Moscow Raceway would prove good enough to keep him at the forefront of the World Superbike order after Q2 as only a portion of the riders improved in this morning's session.
The Italian set an excellent pace in Q1 to hold the overnight advantage of 1min 35.074secs, a marker that no other rider could get close to in Q2 either as his name held strong at the top of the timesheets.
Indeed, Giugliano was only eighth best in the session itself, with Althea Ducati team-mate Carlos Checa taking charge with a slight improvement to his Friday best at 1min 35.222secs.
Instead, there were bigger changes behind the Ducati riders, with Tom Sykes ascending from sixth to third position on the Kawasaki, while Max Biaggi was a big improver as he leapt up to fourth having struggled somewhat on the Friday.
Sylvain Guintolii, Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri comfortably proceeded to Superpole in fifth, sixth and seventh respectively, while a last gasp effort from John Hopkins was enough to take him through to Superpole as the eighth fastest rider.
However, there was more qualifying frustration for his FIXI Crescent Suzuki team-mate Leon Camier – who started from the front row last time out at Silverstone – after he failed to get any higher than 18th position in Q2.
A somewhat rare Superpole appearance for Hopkins, his achievement was surpassed by ninth place man Hiroshi Aoyama, who will make his Superpole debut later today after comfortably qualifying with the ninth best lap and with an advantage over Honda team-mate Jonathan Rea.
Joining him in the afternoon session will be Eugene Laverty, who lifted himself out of the overnight drop zone in 10th, Lorenzo Zanetti, Leon Haslam, Rea, David Salom, Niccolo Canepa and Loris Baz.
Failing to progress to Superpole, however, was BMW Italia duo Michel Fabrizio and Ayrton Badovini in 17th and 19th, Camier between them in 18th, and Pedercini rookies Alexander Lundh and David McFadden.