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Althea Aprilia's Davide Giugliano will start on a World Superbike Championship pole position for the first time in his career after taking full advantage of a crash for pre-qualifying favourite Tom Sykes at the Moscow Raceway.

Sykes had been seeking a seventh straight pole position in Russia, which would have put him level with current consecutive pole record-holder Ben Spies, but having dominated proceedings in SP1 and SP2, his first flying lap in SP3 would instead see him come down at turn three.

A surprise blow for a man that has largely dominated WSBK qualifying over the past two seasons, Sykes failure to set a time means he will be forced to start both races in ninth place - his lowest starting position since 2011.

Despite the slip, Sykes can at least take heart from the knowledge that his key title rival Sylvain Guintoli starts just one position ahead of him, the Frenchman - who is suffering with a shoulder injury - squeezing into SP3 but unable to go quicker than eighth.

With Sykes out of contention, it was left to Giugliano to capitalise, the young Italian consolidating his strong form around the Russian circuit this weekend to put the Althea Aprilia to the top of the timesheets on his second attempt having run onto the gravel initially.

Lapping in 1min 34.656secs - slower than Sykes had managed in SP2 -, Giugliano was a comfortable two tenths quicker than Chaz Davies, who makes a welcome return to the front row aboard the BMW GoldBet S1000RR.

His first front row start since Aragon, when he went on to claim a double victory, Davies will share his prime spot on the grid with Eugene Laverty, whose final effort squeezed him into third position.

Having almost been caught out in SP1, Pata Honda's Jonathan Rea recovered to qualify in fourth place, ahead of the second BMW of Marco Melandri.

Despite setting fast split times in the twisty three-quarter portion of the Moscow circuit, Checa would lose out noticeably in the straighter final sector to contend with sixth position, while Suzuki's Jules Cluzel flew the flag for France in seventh.

Missing out on an SP3 shot, Leon Camier was a disappointing tenth on the grid after failing to live up to his SP1 performance when he was second quickest. Similarly, MR Ducati's Max Neukirchner was a surprise sixth best in SP1, though 11th place still marks his best grid spot of the season. Loris Baz gets underway from 12th after failing to improve on his final lap.

Dropping out of contention in SP1, Leon Haslam will start in 13th position, ahead of Ayrton Badovini and Michel Fabrizio, the latter missing out after suffering a fall from his Red Devils Roma Aprilia.