Tom Sykes will start the tenth round of the 2015 World Superbike Championship from pole position after denying Jordi Torres a maiden top spot in Sepang.

Returning to the form that has seen him dominate Superpole at times in recent years, this performance brings him to 27 in total and his fourth of the year.

Indeed, it would take a rapid late effort from Sykes to get the edge on his rivals as WSBK rookie Torres looked set to charge to his maiden pole position, the Spaniard quickest on the first set of rubber before going quicker still on his second and final attempt.

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However, Sykes would simply hook it up when it mattered to take his ZX-10R across the line in a 2min 03.240secs lap, putting him comfortably three tenths faster than Torres, whose second place nonetheless marks a season-best for him.

Joining them on the front row will be Sylvain Guintoli, last year's title winner finding pace on the Honda to give his PATA team reason to smile in what has been a tough 2015 campaign so far.

Returning former champion Max Biaggi, meanwhile, will start from a fine fourth place, the Italian leaping up the order in the closing stages to get the better of several better fancied rivals in only his second Superpole since 2012.

Despite being forced to come through SP1 after a late crash denied him in FP3, Alex Lowes eased through to SP2 and proceeded to place his Suzuki fifth on the grid, ahead of Chaz Davies in sixth and Jonathan Rea in seventh, the championship leader having a wobble in sector three to blame for his relatively lacklustre result.

Leon Haslam joins Rea on row three, alongside Althea Ducati's Niccolo Canepa, while Matteo Baiocco, Randy de Puniet and Ayrton Badovini make up row four, the latter not setting a time after crashing heavily in FP4.

Failing to make it through SP1, Michael van der Mark starts down in 13th, ahead of Leon Camier, Roman Ramos and Leandro Mercado, who suffered a fall.