Broc Parkes has taken provisional pole position for the opening round of the 2012 World Supersport Championship at Phillip Island as he led an all-Honda top three by just 0.032secs.
Setting an almost identical lap time to that which had him top of the timesheets in FP1, Parkes was nonetheless forced to show his best form to fend off an inspired attack from WSS rookie Jules Cluzel, the Frenchman very nearly causing an upset by going quickest.
Indeed, while the session saw Parkes, Fabien Foret and Sam Lowes all enjoy stints in front, it was Cluzel who looked set to prevail as he lowered his personal best to 1min 34.558secs. However, Cluzel's joy was short lived as local favourite Parkes nipped ahead by just 0.026secs with three minutes to spare.
Completing an all-Honda top three, Lowes was also closely matched with his rivals just a further six thousandths of a second further back.
Breaking the Honda trend in fourth, Intermoto Step Kawasaki rider Foret held on to a provisional front row spot, edging out factory ZX-6R rider Kenan Sofuoglu in fifth place.
As well as Cluzel, Alex Baldolini and Lukas Pesek made it a successful day for the Moto2-turned-WSS riders in sixth and eighth respectively, the pair being split by Balazs Nemeth, while South African pair Ronan Quarmby and Mathew Scholtz rounded out the provisional top ten on their PTR-supported Hondas.
Elsewhere, Martin Jessopp continued to lower his lap times with a run to a provisional 15th position on the grid, ahead of Joshua Day, Roberto Tamburini and Vladimir Leonov.