Tom Sykes heads into the penultimate round of the 2013 World Superbike Championship with an eye on extended his series lead after producing a daring run to pole position at Magny-Cours.

An eighth Superpole success of the season for the Kawasaki rider - and the 19th of his career -, Sykes was in typically aggressive form as he ignored rain in the air and stubborn traffic to go eight tenths faster than nearest rival Sylvain Guintoli.

Indeed, Sykes's dramatic run between 180 and Imola was typified by him having to overtake three riders in a short space, including local rider Vincent Philippe, whose slow pace close to the racing line would force the championship leader to duck into a closing gap.

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Going on to joke in the post-qualifying press conference that title rival Guintoli may have had a 'few words here-and-there' with countryman Philippe about leaving it 'tight', Sykes was pleased to turn in a strong performance and is confident of his pace in wet and dry conditions.

"I am happy because we have proved again that we can do it and that the bike works well here. This is a great place to get pole position, especially in these conditions. Three riders in two corners made it very difficult for me in the fast lap so I am sure it was very exciting for those watching on TV! From where I was sitting it was quite dangerous.

"I hope it is dry tomorrow because if we have good conditions everybody will be fighting and putting on a good show for the crowd. The Ninja ZX-10R is working well but we can still improve it even more in wet conditions. In dry conditions we know what to expect. Overall we will go and relax now, get a good sleep and come out ready to race tomorrow."