Broc Parkes will start the tenth round of the 2011 World Supersport Championship from pole position after snatching the initiative from local favourite Luca Scassa at Imola.
Scassa had looked on course to turn his provisional pole position into a certainty as he worked his best down to a 1min 51.669secs, only for Parkes to undercut him with a 1min 51.594secs lap time late on in the session.
It marks Parkes's first pole position since Motorland Aragon and comes as he attempts to claw back ground in the fight for the runners-up spot overall. Indeed, though Parkes is still mathematically capable of winning the 2011 title, he would need to win each of the final three races and hope that Chaz Davies doesn't score.
Davies, meanwhile, will start in fourth, one spot behind Florian Marino and the position he needs to finish to ensure he seals the 2011 title, regardless of how his rivals' fare.
Crucially for him, he starts ahead of both David Salom and Fabien Foret after they could only manage fifth and 12th positions respectively.
Between them, Roberto Tamburini starts his home race from sixth position, ahead of Lorenzini Kawasaki's Massimo Roccoli in seventh place. British pairing Sam Lowes and Gino Rea – who hadn't even set an Imola lap time before today – placed eighth and ninth, while Ronan Quarmby hauled his Suriano Triumph up the order to round out the top ten.