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Sam Lowes will attempt to reel off his fifth consecutive World Supersport Championship victory from pole position after charging to the top of Q2 by half a second.
Having already broken the WSS lap record once this weekend, Lowes was again comfortably beneath his new marker, lapping in 1min 50.404secs to put five tenths between himself and key rival Kenan Sofuoglu on the Mahi Kawasaki.
Having foiled Kawasaki's double-pronged attempt to beat him last time out in Portugal, Lowes might this time get to call on some help from his Yakhnich Yamaha team-mate Vladimir Leonov, the Russian rider leaping up the leaderboard to qualify in a career-best third position.
By contrast, Fabien Foret – who is level with Mahi Kawasaki team-mate Sofuoglu in the overall standings – endured a tough day, the Frenchman qualifying outside the top ten in 11th position.
At one point the fastest man on track, Puccetti Kawasaki rookie Riccardo Russo flew the flag for Italy to qualify in fourth position, heading up countrymen Lorenzo Zanetti and Lucas Scassa on their respective Honda and Kawasaki machines.
Kev Coghlan consolidated his strong showing in FP2 to qualify seventh aboard the DMC Lorenzini Kawasaki, ahead of Andrea Antonelli and Sheridan Morais – who both reached the top ten despite falling during the session -, while Portimao star Michael van der Mark will get underway from tenth place.
An eventful session, seven riders would suffer crashes during the session, including four of PTR Honda's five riders, with Luca Marconi – who fell twice – requiring a trip to the medical centre as a result.
Jack Kennedy was another to suffer a fall, the Irishman left in 22nd position, just behind debutant Tommy Bridewell in 20th on the Lorini Honda and Christian Iddon in 21st on the ParkinGO MV Agusta.