The Honda pair were right on the pace in the tricky wet/dry conditions at Thruxton today. Haslam will start alongside pole setter Byrne with Crutchlow completing the front row in fourth position.

Along with most other riders, both Honda men would prefer a completely wet or totally dry race. The Thruxton track surface is very abrasive and a changeable surface would wreak havoc on tyre wear.

"I'm over the moon with second actually," said Haslam. "The team have made more progress since Brands and wet or dry we are right there with Shakey.

"The conditions have been tough and let's hope it is wet or dry tomorrow. I am right there on race runs and was on pole until the dying minutes. I feel confident that I can win both races.

Crutchlow after setting the quickest time of the weekend so far with a dazzling display on Friday will start fourth.

The 2006 Supersport champion has proved to be as quick as Haslam so far in 2008, quicker at times, and after a tough 2007 for Suzuki is looking to secure a first Superbike victory at the super-fast former airfield circuit.

"I'm pleased with that," said the 22-year-old. "Qualifying didn't really go as planned but I am right there. Front row is what it's all about.

"Conditions have been tricky today, it's tough riding on such a greasy track surface but I am looking for two podiums tomorrow."

Team boss Havier Beltran is happy with the day's result but also mindful of the tricky weather. High winds have been blowing in weather all weekend.

"It's been a good day all round," he said. "Weather has been unpredictable but it's supposed to be better tomorrow.

"Both Leon and Cal had some minor setup issues on Friday but we got on top of them quickly. they both look confident in any conditions."

The team's other rider Steve Brogan has had a superb couple of days. Riding in both the Supersport and Superstock classes the Liverpudlian is second on the grid in Supersport and set a stunning pole time in Superstock to lead the field by over a second.

"Things have gone really well today," said Brogan. "I am a little bit gutted to lose the SS pole to Glen Richards but hope to put one over on him in tomorrow's race.

"In Superstock the pole setting time was set in the dry, but we were quickest in the wet today aswell. The new Fireblade is so easy to ride and that's helping me no end."