Chaz Davies admits he was surprised to qualify on the front row for the eighth round of the 2014 World Superbike Championship at Portimao, but feels it is simply a measure of Ducati's recent gains.

The Ducati rider, who last started on the front row at Imola, had struggled during the early stages of the weekend and believed he would be on the back foot for Superpole after suffering issues during practice.

However, come Superpole Davies would hit form when it mattered, his last lap of the session proving good enough to lift him to the front row in third position.

Crediting the continual improvements being made to the 1199 Panigale, Davies he is starting to see the 'fruits of Ducati's labour'.

"It's been a strange day. We made a few changes and switched engines as we normally do on Saturday but in the free practice we had a few problems, after a good timed practice earlier in the morning. Anyway, we improved a lot for qualifying.

"On the first lap with the qualifier, I made a little mistake here and there and got caught out a bit by the wind, but then I was able to do a solid second lap, which I hoped would be good enough for a second row start. It actually puts me on the front row so I'm really pleased with that.

"Overall I think we're starting to see the fruits of Ducati's labour, the updates mean we're starting to see improvement. As far as the races are concerned, it's meant to be a little cooler tomorrow which might help and then I just need to get off the line well and see what I can do."