Having maintained a fairly low profile for much of the weekend, Sylvain Guintoli proved Aprilia will be 'in the mix' during the World Superbike races at Assen after showing his true pace during Superpole.

With both he and Marco Melandri focused on race pace, Guintoli came into the deciding qualifying session trailing its main rivals, but Superpole would see him come into his own as he diced with fellow Frenchman Loris Baz for the honour of pole position.

Getting close to the lap record with his first effort, though Guintoli would be denied pole position by a flying Loris Baz, his quickest lap would also dip below the previous best marker as he confirmed second place on the grid.

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Pleased with his performance, despite missing out on the top spot, Guintoli is confident he has a strong race package come rain or shine.

"We made a lot of progress today, session after session, and Superpole was confirmation of that. I was fast and had a good feeling straight away. All of this is encouraging for me in view of the races tomorrow.

"It's always a shame to lose pole position when you know you could have taken it, but starting from the front row is an excellent result, especially on a track like this one. We have also taken a big step forward in terms of race pace and tomorrow, weather permitting, we will definitely be in the mix."