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Three-time champion Kenan Sofuoglu will start from his first World Supersport pole position since the Phillip Island opener as he held off Michael van der Mark and Jules Cluzel for the top spot at Portimao.
Sofuoglu – the most successful Supersport rider of all-time - began the 2014 season as the firm favourite for the title, but a series of bad luck and lacklustre form has seen him slip all-but-out of the title fight at the mid-way point in the year.
However, a 19th career pole position on a weekend where he has shown front-running pace will come as a timely confidence boost, even if he will still share the front row with the riders he is chasing in the standings, van der Mark and Cluzel.
Dutchman van der Mark, who comes into the weekend with a 28 point advantage in the standings, would end up less than a tenth behind Sofuoglu, while title rival Cluzel was also just a few hundredths back on the closely-matched MV Agusta.
One of his best qualifying performances of the season, Jack Kennedy starts in fourth position on the CIA Insurance Honda, with fellow PTR rider Raffaele de Rosa alongside him in fifth and Lorenzo Zanetti making it an all-Honda second row in sixth.
Kev Coghlan heads up the third row on the DMC Panavto Yamaha, while Misano podium winner PJ Jacobsen is eighth overall, the American slipping back after a crash prevented him from making the most of a fast start to the session. Florian Marino and Massimo Roccoli round out the top ten.