Michel Fabrizio has given his chances of securing a ride in the 2014 World Superbike Championship a boost by claiming a strong top five grid position aboard the Pata Honda at Magny-Cours.

In his third event for the team as the deputy for the injured Jonathan Rea, with Pata Honda's confirmation this week that the Ulsterman and Leon Haslam will form its rider line-up in 2014, Fabrizio is under pressure this weekend to prove himself worthy of a top level ride next year.

Proceeding to come out fighting in Superpole, Fabrizio cracked SP2 before going on to snatch a spot on the second row of the grid in fifth position with his final effort.

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"I didn't really have any problems apart from confidence and not knowing how hard to push on the wet track at the beginning of Superpole. The feeling was not so good but I knew that I really had to push on my last lap to improve my position.

"It was very important for me to start on the second row, so I'm very happy to be there. If it's dry tomorrow I think I could go with Giugliano and Laverty so I hope to have two good races."

Team-mate Haslam, meanwhile, endured a difficult Superpole session as a crash at Imola ultimately prevented him from qualifying higher than 15th.

"I went out with intermediates when others were on full wets and I hit a wet patch and crashed. I was able to go out again on the same tyres but made another big mistake with the one lap that I got and that was that.

"The pace was easy enough to stay with but I made a mistake with the crash and then another when I managed to get back out. We haven't had any more dry time today so it's hard to say whether we've made any progress. Tomorrow will be a gamble, wet or dry, so we'll have to see how it goes."