Sylvain Guintoli feels he is in an 'excellent' position to challenge for victory at Motorland Aragon after qualifying on the front row of the grid.

The Frenchman, who leads the early WSBK standings following his win during the opening round in Australia, has been keeping a fairly low profile for much of the weekend in an effort to concentrate on race pace.

Bursting forth in Superpole to join the two Kawasakis at the front of the field, Guintoli is confident the race pace of the Aprilia RSV4 will see him in contention come race day.

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"After a lot of work throughout the weekend on used tyres it was nice to finally put a new tyre on and push to the limit! The qualifying session, with the bike light and performing well, is my favourite time to ride.

"We improved again today. At the beginning of Superpole I put in a really good lap straight away on a race tyre. With the qualifier I shaved a bit more off but Sykes made a comeback as Mister Superpole. In any case I'm pleased with the position. The front row is excellent, especially if we consider our good race pace."

Having entered Superpole with the fastest time of the weekend up to that point, Marco Melandri had hoped to turn that around into a pole position, but an erroneous change in set-up followed by mistakes on his crucial lap would leave him down in a frustrated seventh.

"All in all today was an excellent day. Unfortunately I missed the mark in the most important lap, the Superpole lap. We had made some changes that I didn't really like and even going back when we put the qualifier on I didn't feel confident enough to push hard, making a few too many mistakes in the first section of the track. In any case I am pleased in view of the races. I'll be expecting two close battles but we're ready."