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Eugene Laverty has taken pole position for the final round of the 2013 World Superbike Championship, though Tom Sykes remains well on course to wrap up the title from second on the grid.
One of four Aprilia riders expected to challenge for pole position having mostly dominated free practice, it was the Irishman on the factor RSV4 that would prevail when it mattered, his sole lap of 1min 40.620secs proving unbeatable.
Though the performance marks his second career pole position, it is the first time he has topped a 'dry Superpole' and comes in what is expected to be his final WSBK event ahead of his anticipated switch to MotoGP next season.
Even so, Laverty, who along with team-mate Sylvain Guintoli are the only riders capable of stopping Sykes from winning the title this weekend, will still need luck to go his way if he is to close the gap to the Kawasaki rider after the champion-elect qualified second.
Though a slightly uncustomary position for the Briton in a year that has seen him dominate Superpole, Sykes's front row start still puts him in a good place from which to secure the third place he needs to seal the title in race one.
Joining them on the front of the grid will be Davide Giugliano, the Q1 and Q2 pace setter not quite able to turn his practice pace into pole position on the Althea Aprilia, but maintaining his strong run of decent form nonetheless.
Ahead of BMW's final race as a factory-backed effort, Marco Melandri gets underway from fourth position, ahead of Guintoli and Toni Elias, the Spaniard denied a shot at pole position by a crash just after his first flying lap.
Shrugging off the foot injury that has kept him out of action for a month, Leon Camier marked his return to action with an impressive seventh on the grid, ahead of local favourite Xavi Fores on the Alstare Ducati and Mark Aitchison, the Australian producing an excellent performance to reach SP3 on the little fancied Pedercini Kawasaki.
Missing out on the SP3 cut, Chaz Davies will line up on row four in tenth position, alongside Broc Parkes and Lorenzo Lanzi, while Ayrton Badovini, Federico Sandi and Michel Fabrizio make up row five, the latter compounding Pata Honda's miserable day by proving slowest of the Superpole contenders.