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Jonathan Rea has fought off a charge from Nicky Hayden to claim pole position at Losail ahead of the World Superbike title decider.

The Kawasaki Racing rider needs just two points to secure a second consecutive World Superbike championship and had no plans of taking a conservative approach to qualifying by storming to pole position with the fastest ever Superbike lap around the Qatar track with a 1m 56.356s.

Having traded top spot times with Chaz Davies throughout free practice, Hayden stormed to the front with a provisional pole time of 1m 56.561s on the Honda Fireblade's final outing before being replaced by the 2017 model.

The lap was enough to keep hold of second as Davies completed the front row on his Aruba.it Racing Ducati and looks in ominous form coming off the back of four consecutive race wins.

Pata Yamaha's Sylvain Guintoli heads the second row in fourth in front of Tom Sykes who had an uncharacteristically low-key qualifying in fifth after technical issues hampered his progress in practice as he ended qualifying over half a second off Kawasaki team-mate Rea.

Alex Lowes completed row two after nipping ahead of Barni Ducati's Xavi Fores by just 0.004s. IodaRacing Aprilia's Lorenzo Savadori will start alongside Fores on the third row ahead of Honda's Michael van der Mark.

Jordi Torres continues to act as the top performer for Althea BMW by securing tenth on the grid as Davide Giugliano and Leon Camier completed the Suerpole two qualifiers.

It was a difficult qualifying for British Superbike runner-up Leon Haslam who will start from 16th on the Pedercini Kawasaki while former BSB champion Josh Brookes secured 14th on his final outing for Milwaukee BMW.

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