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Sylvain Barrier will head into the penultimate round of the 2012 FIM Superstock 1000 Championship at Portimao as the hot favourite for a fifth win of the season after claiming pole position by almost a full second.
The Frenchman has been in imperious form around the Portuguese circuit having topped each timed session by a comfortable margin, not least in qualifying when he put eight tenths between himself and second place man Bryan Staring.
Barrier's speed puts added pressure on championship leader Eddi La Marra, though the Barni Ducati rider – who is just six points ahead of his rival – did post a marked improvement in Q2 to qualify in third position.
They will be joined on the front row by Monza podium winner Christoffer Bergman on the BWG Kawasaki, the Swede just keeping Honda rider Fabio Massei and Jeremy Guarnoni at bay in fifth and sixth, while Lorenzo Savadori and Ondrej Jezek round out the second row.
Further back, Nurburgring podium winner Kev Coghlan could only manage 13th place aboard the DMC Ducati 1199 Panigale.