Kenan Sofuoglu will start the first round of the World Supersport Championship from pole position after resisting the attentions of Joan Lascorz during qualifying at Phillip Island.

Giving him a shot at making the perfect start ahead of his full-time return to the Supersport category, the result marks the 2007 champion's seventh career pole position.

However, while his comfortable three tenth margin over Kawasaki's Lascorz would suggest otherwise, Sofuoglu had to work hard to topple the Spaniard, who occupied the top spot for the majority of the session.

The Provec Motocard rider rose from a provisional 13th on the grid twenty minutes into the session as he sought to give Kawasaki their first Supersport pole position in two years. However, while it took him a couple of attempts to usurp Lascorz, Sofuoglu's eventual benchmark of 1min 34.320secs was more than enough to claim the spoils.

Andrew Pitt had to be content with third on the grid, the local rider unable to hold onto his provisional pole position as his best proved four tenths slower than his Ten Kate Honda team-mate.

Cal Crutchlow kept himself in contention with a spot on the front row for his first World Supersport event with Yamaha, the British rider raising his stock further by also out-qualifying sixth placed team-mate Fabien Foret on his first attempt.

After a quiet time in provisional qualification, Eugene Laverty made up substantial ground when it mattered after snaring a top five starting position ahead of his debut for Parkalgar, the Irishman doing a fine job to be Honda's leading representative behind Ten Kate. Althea's Mark Aitchison, Veidec's Robbin Harms and Stiggy's Anthony West could only manage ninth, 11th and 12th in comparison.

Elsewhere, all five manufacturers proved to be competitive as they made it into the top ten, with Triumph's Garry McCoy qualifying eighth, while Barry Veneman sneaked up to tenth position on the Suzuki.



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