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Chaz Davies has obliterated the track record for World Superbike machines at Imola by storming to pole by half a second from Aruba.it Racing Ducati team-mate Davide Giugliano, as championship leader Jonathan Rea completed the front row.

After Rea had taken a slight advantage after the first runs the Superpole two session was suspended midway through when Crescent Pata Yamaha's Sylvain Guintoli suffered a huge high side crash on a flying lap which caused a red flag stoppage.

The French rider required trackside medical attention before being taken away in an ambulance with the rest of the World Superbike paddock wishing the 2014 champion well.

Once the session restarted Davies, on a fresh qualifying tyre, completely destroyed the previous best lap record set by Tom Sykes in 2013 with a 1m 45.598s - almost half a second quicker than had ever been produced at Imola.

His blitzing lap gave Giugliano and company little chance to respond and despite last year's pole sitter going three-tenths faster than his top time from 12 months ago he will line up in second and makes it a factory Ducati one-two.

Rea was forced to play best of the rest in third, 0.730s off Davies, ahead of his Kawasaki team-mate Sykes as local star Lorenzo Savadori placed his Aprilia in fifth.

Jordi Torres made it four manufacturers inside the top six with his Althea BMW to complete row two with MV Agusta's Leon Camier heading the third row, joined by Markus Reiterberger and Nicky Hayden on his competitive debut at Imola.

Matteo Baiocco's late improvement saw him jump to the front of row four ahead of Michael van der Mark with the stricken Guintoli in 12th.

Davies had laid down the early marker in the first runs to take a half a second advantage until Rea duly responded on his second run to gain a narrow provisional pole.

However, the Aruba.it Racing Ducati rider was denied the chance to respond immediately as Guintoli suffered a heavy high side crash which caused a red flag stoppage so marshals and doctors could safely attend the French rider.

After a 15-minute delay Guintoli was safely transported to the medical centre in an ambulance which gave the signal for Superpole two to resume with last year's pole sitter Giugliano leading the way.

The Italian rider duly stormed to the top with a 1m 46.055s - 0.3s faster than his 2015 pole time - before his team-mate blitz the records with his 1m 45.598s which almost half a second faster than any the best lap record set by Sykes in 2013.

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