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Chaz Davies will start a World Superbike Championship race from pole position for the first time in his career as he led a Ducati 1-2 in qualifying for round nine of the season at Laguna Seca.

An upset of sorts given Kawasaki's Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea had headed up the timesheets coming into Superpole, the factory Ducati team unleashed its full potential when it mattered as Davies and Davide Giugliano duked it out for the top spot.

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However, it was Davies that would prevail with a best lap of 1min 22.101secs, while Giugliano was forced to settle second, just under two tenths behind, after fluffing his first effort on new tyres and being forced to push on the second run instead.

Though a relative veteran of 89 World Superbike races, this is the first time Davies has notched up a WSBK pole position since his debut in 2012. As a measure of his surprisingly meagre qualifying record, Davies was only ever a one-time pole winner in 28 World Supersport starts too.

Davies and Giugliano will be joined on the front row by Red Devils Aprilia rider Jordi Torres, the Spaniard coming on strong in Superpole to put himself at the head of the field and keep the Kawasakis at bay.

Indeed, Kawasaki will be forced to do its work from row two after neither Sykes nor championship leader Rea were able to hook it up over a single lap, the pair starting fourth and fifth respectively, with Leon Haslam completing an all British second row in sixth position.

Niccolo Canepa heads up row three on the privateer Althea Ducati, ahead of Alex Lowes - who may have some choice words for Giugliano for baulking one of his fast laps -, while defending champion Sylvain Guintoli gets away from ninth.

Making it through from SP1, Leon Camier went on to secure a fine tenth place starting spot for MV Agusta, with David Salom and Ayrton Badovini rounding out row four.

Further back, Michael van der Mark's difficult weekend continued on, the Dutchman down in 15th position as he struggles to get to grips with the Californian circuit, while Randy de Puniet, having shown top ten pace in practice, couldn't manage any better than 17th aboard the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki.