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  • Loris Baz destroys the existing lap record at Assen to claim his maiden WSBK pole for Kawasaki
  • The Frenchman times his lap to perfection as drizzle spoils any rival response
  • Countryman Guintoli and team-mate Sykes make up the front row

Loris Baz will start on a World Superbike pole position for the first time in his burgeoning career after obliterating the four year-old WSBK lap record at Assen in qualifying.

The Frenchman, who only started from the front row for the first time last time out at Motorland Aragon, powered to the top spot early on, only to be unseated by countryman Sylvain Guintoli with eight minutes remaining.

However, with rain in the air, Baz struck out again to try and overhaul his countryman, the Kawasaki rider blitzing the existing lap record of 1min 34.994secs set by Jonathan Rea in 2010 with his own effort of 1min 34.357secs.

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Putting him half a second ahead of the competition, with the threatening rain eventually beginning to make its presence felt just seconds later, it would deter most riders from attempting to improve on their lap time.

Guintoli starts second, the Aprilia rider no doubt disappointed not to have been closer after losing up to three tenths on his quickest lap after being caught Toni Elias in the final sector.

Overshadowed by his team-mate, Sykes starts on the edge of the front row in third, the Briton failing to get his last flying lap in because of the worsening conditions.

Indeed, the rain would spoil several laps at the wrong moment, including Jonathan Rea and Davide Giugliano, who will start alongside Marco Melandri in fourth, the Italian having made it through SP1 to go on and secure a spot at the head of the second row.

Putting in a lap just two tenths off the front row, Niccolo Canepa was in superb form on the Althea Ducati to very nearly qualify as the best-placed 1199 Panigale rider in seventh.

Even so, he still starts ahead of both Suzukis of Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes - another two riders to time their laps just slightly too late -, while Elias, Leon Haslam and Chaz Davies make up row four, the latter going seven tenths slower than he managed in SP1.

Missing the cut but starting on row five, Leon Camier was the second best placed EVO rider, the BMW Italia man next to Ayrton Badovini and EVO leader David Salom.