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Sylvain Barrier will begin his quest for back-to-back FIM Superstock 1000 Cup titles from pole position after holding off his rivals during second qualifying at Motorland Aragon.
Having dominated proceedings in each session leading up to the deciding qualifying session, though BMW GoldBet rider Barrier would find his rivals eating into a margin that once stood at more than a second, his time of 2mins 01.347secs was still three tenths quicker than the opposition.
That challenge was headed up ex-MotoGP and WSBK rider Niccolo Canepa on the Barni Ducati 1199 Panigale, the Italian finding a breakthrough in Q2 to catapult up the order having spent much of the weekend in the lower end of the top ten.
Rounding out the front row, Lorenzo Savadori leads another pair of Pedercini Kawasaki riders in third place, with team-mates Leandro Mercado and Alessandro Andreozzi following up closely in fourth and fifth.
Former South African champion Greg Gildenhuys will begin his full-time Superstock 1000 career from sixth place on the grid, ahead of anticipated title contenders Jeremy Guarnoni and Eddi La Marra on their respective Kawasaki and Ducati machines.