Max Biaggi has upped the pressure in the fight for the 2012 World Superbike Championship as he stormed to a timely first pole position of the season at the Nurburgring.
Though he comes to Germany having only just ceded his series advantage to Marco Melandri, Biaggi's form has been in decline since Aragon, his single podium finish in the last seven races seemingly handing the momentum to his Italian rival.
However, having slipped 18.5 points behind his BMW rival, Biaggi has responded in style at the Nurburgring thus far, smashing the lap record to edge out both Tom Sykes and Melandri in the tightest Superpole contest of the season.
A fine return to form for Biaggi, the Aprilia rider was delighted to be up at the front again, though he is wary that things will be close come race day.
"Pole position is the result of a weekend where we have worked well, focusing a lot on the set-up and taking maximum advantage of the practice sessions. I managed to avoid any mistakes on the fast lap and I'm also satisfied with our race pace.
“This doesn't mean that the races tomorrow will be easy – on the contrary – there are a lot of riders within a few tenths of a second, so I expect a truly heated Sunday where we will definitely be able to have our say.”