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Tom Sykes will start from his seventh World Superbike pole position of the season at Istanbul Park after resisting title rival Sylvain Guintoli by just two hundredths of a second in qualifying.

Following a damp start to the day in Turkey, Superpole nonetheless got underway in dry, sunny conditions with Guintoli installed as the favourite for pole position having topped the timesheets in both conditions.

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However, having signalled his intentions with quick laps in SP1 and SP2, it was Sykes that would emerge in SP3 as the rider to beat, the Kawasaki rider ignoring the attentions of the close-following Toni Elias to round the Turkish circuit in 1min 54.872secs.

With no other rider able to better that lap on their first attempt, Guintoli looked set to mount a challenge on his second revolution as he nudged ahead at the mid-way split. However, the Frenchman would lose his small margin before he reached the end of the lap, crossing the line just 0.022secs adrift of his main rival.

As such, Sykes - who leads Guintoli by one point in the standings - will get underway from his seventh WSBK pole position of the season, in turn increasing his career tally to 18 to move clear of Doug Polen for fourth on the all-time list.

A strong session for Aprilia, RSV4s will occupy second, third, fourth and fifth positions on the grid, with Davide Giugliano rounding out the front row on the satellite Althea Racing machine.

His time was enough to see off Laverty, who will no doubt be disappointed with fourth having lapped four tenths slower in SP3 than he did during SP2.

Helped along by following Sykes, Elias will start his first ever WSBK race from an impressive fifth position, the Red Devils Roma rider keeping it tidy when it mattered after a few wild moments on the exit of the high-speed triple apex turn eight left-hander.

He starts ahead of Jules Cluzel on the sole remaining Fixi Crescent Suzuki, the Frenchman out-qualifying BMW riders Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies, the pair enduring a disappointing Superpole having proven more competitive in the run up to qualifying. Leon Haslam rounds out the third row.

Behind them, Mark Aitchison will start inside the top ten on the Pedercini Kawasaki, ahead of team-mate Federico Sandi, the pair out-performing PATA Honda's new recruit Michel Fabrizio.

With just 16 riders scheduled to take part in this weekend's races following a flurry of injuries that have depleted the field, local wild-cards Tolga Urpak and Yunus Ercelik find themselves in 13th and 14th, ahead of Vittorio Iannuzzo and Ayrton Badovini, the latter missing Superpole after skipping the damp sessions due to his injured