Steve Martin claimed his second Superpole win of the year in a dramatic session ahead of the seventh round of the World Superbike Championship at Laguna Seca.

The DFX Ducati rider, seventh in second qualifying, set the benchmark time of 1min 26.912seconds and then faced a nervous wait to see if the six riders running after him would be able to beat it.

James Toseland on the Fila Ducati was the man who got closest. His first sub 1min 27second lap of the weekend wasn't enough to topple Martin from the top of the timesheets - the young Brit falling just 0.031seconds short.

Chris Vermeulen, fresh from a first World Superbike victory at the last round carried on his good form on his first run in Superpole at Laguna Seca. The Ten Kate Honda rider held off Frankie Chili for third after the Italian slowed on his lap when he came across yellow flags.

Those flags were for Noriyuki Haga, who had hoped to set a good time in Superpole after finishing provisional qualifying in second place. However the session proved to a disaster after the Japanese rider suffered a suspected oil leak on his warm up lap. As a result he trundled round the circuit on his "flying" lap, setting a time nearly 20seconds behind Martin before falling on his slow down lap. Unsurprisingly, the Renegade Ducati man will start from 16th on the grid.

Troy Corser was a solid fifth in the session on the lone Petronas FP1 after set-up problems meant teammate Chris Walker missed out on Superpole, failing to qualify by just 0.78secs.

Current championship leader Laconi on the second works Ducati claimed sixth ahead of the impressive Garry McCoy, making his return to the circuit after an absence of over ten years.

Young gun Leon Haslam claimed eighth to put the Renegade Ducati on the second row for what promises to be an exciting days racing.