Marco Melandri has produced a new outright lap record at Jerez to secure his first pole position since returning to the World Superbike championship in 2017.

The Aruba.it Racing Ducati blitzed the times have topped the delayed FP3 due to early morning fog and pinched pole position by just 0.021s from Jonathan Rea with a lap record time of 1m 38.960s.

The pole marks Melandri’s first since returning to the series at the start of this year and just his second career pole position in World Superbikes – his previous pole coming at Aragon in 2011 when racing for Yamaha.

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With Melandri on pole from triple World Superbike champion Rea, Alex Lowes completed the front row for Pata Yamaha having produced an impressive lap to push Tom Sykes on to the second row.

Michael van der Mark has qualified on the middle of the second row for Pata Yamaha ahead of Milwaukee Aprilia duo Lorenzo Savadori and Eugene Laverty.

It was a frustrating Superpole 2 session for Chaz Davies, who claimed a dominant double win at Jerez last year, who could only manage eighth and was 0.880s off team-mate and pole-sitter Melandri.

Leon Camier completes row three for MV Agusta having progressed from Superpole 1, with local rider Roman Ramos continuing to impress for Team Go Eleven Kawasaki in 10th.

Sylvain Guintoli converted his automatic progress into Superpole 2 on his 2017 World Superbike debut into 11th for Puccetti Kawasaki as Xavi Fores completes the fourth row on the Barni Ducati.