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Reigning FIM Superstock 1000 Cup champion Sylvain Barrier staved off the threat from Leandro Mercado to pick up provisional pole position for the opening round of the season at Motorland Aragon.

Having cracked the Aragon lap record in the very first session of the weekend, Barrier would go on to spend much of Q1 trailing Pedercini Kawasaki's Mercado, around 1.5secs slower than he managed in FP1.

However, a late lap would go on to reassert his authority and though his effort of 2mins 01.762secs was still seven tenths adrift of what he managed earlier in the day, it was still four tenths up on Mercado.

To Mercado's credit, the Argentinian was still well ahead of third place Jeremy Guarnoni on the sister MRS Kawasaki ZX-10R, while Barni Ducati seem to have little answer to the flying BMW of Barrier as Eddi La Marra could only manage fourth best, almost a second down on his main rival.

Behind him Lorenzo Savadori was fifth fastest, ahead of Greg Gildenhuys, Niccolo Canepa, Romain Lanusse, Alessandro Andreozzi and local wild-card rider Enrique Ferrer.