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  • 'Mr Superpole' Tom Sykes returns to pole-winning ways at Motorland Aragon
  • Loris Baz makes it a Kawasaki 1-2 with Guintoli joining them on the front row
  • Chaz Davies, Leon Camier and Leon Haslam all suffer tumbles during the SP2 session

Tom Sykes will start the second round of the 2014 World Superbike Championship from a 20th career WSBK pole position as he led a Kawasaki 1-2 in frantic qualifying session at Motorland Aragon.

A return to pole-winning ways for Sykes, the defending champion was in fine form as he left it late to deny a potential maiden pole position for team-mate Loris Baz, the young Frenchman having grabbed the initiative just moments earlier.

Nonetheless, a Kawasaki 1-2 marks a strong result for the Japanese manufacturer in a session that had initially looked like a battle between Aprilia, Ducati and Honda's Jonathan Rea.

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Indeed, Ducati would run 1-2 during the early stages of the SP2 session, but Chaz Davies ruined his chances with a costly fall, while Davide Giugliano was quickest in twisty sectors, only to lose time on the long back straight.

As such, it was Sylvain Guintoli that will start alongside the ZX-10R pair for Sunday's races, the early championship leader coming in three tenths behind Sykes.

Giugliano heads up the second row, ahead of Jonathan Rea, the Ulsterman not quite able to turn his impressive free practice pace into anything more than fifth position on the grid. Despite his fall, Davies was able to remount and grab sixth, though the Welshman will likely see it as a missed opportunity for much better.

The fastest rider coming into Superpole, Marco Melandri would wind up a disappointing seventh on the grid, with Suzuki riders Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes left to contend with eighth and ninth on a weekend where the GSX-R1000 doesn't appear to be as competitive as it was in Australia.

Having made it through from SP1, Toni Elias and Leon Camier ended the day tenth and eleventh, the latter impressing on his WSBK return this weekend to take EVO pole on the BMW Italia, despite a light fall in SP2 himself. Another rider to hit the deck in SP2, Leon Haslam's tumble means he will start down in 12th place.

With SP1 delayed by more than 20mins after Jeremy Guarnoni's MRS Kawasaki suffered a dramatic engine blow up - which in turn prompted a bizarre incident when the engine casing hurtled off and damaged a pit board -, it was Camier that would upstage EVO favourite Niccolo Canepa with his final lap, the Italian forced to start as 'best of the rest' in 13th.

Bimota, meanwhile, will start its first race of the season in 15th position courtesy of Ayrton Badovini, with Christian Iddon in 18th. Due to homologation issues, neither rider will be eligible to score points.