Aprilia's Max Biaggi will start this weekend's two World Superbike races from the pole position after taking his first Superpole of the year at the Nurburgring.
Not only was it the Italian's first pole of the season, it was only the fifth pole of his World Superbike career, and it comes at a time when he most needs it. Biaggi currently sits second to BMW's Marco Melandri in the World Superbike Championship, 290 to 308.5, with three rounds, six races, remaining.
Biaggi's lap of 1:53.855 mins. narrowly bested the 1:53.904 of Kawasaki's Superpole ace Tom Sykes in a typically tight session. The Brit was denied his eighth pole of the season by .049 sec.
Melandri slotted into the third spot at 1:53.912 mins., with Biaggi's teammate Eugene Laverty fourth fastest at 1:54.148 mins.
Honda World Superbike's Jonathan Rea, who'd been fastest after second qualifying, slipped down to fifth, though only .445 sec. behind Laverty.
Former world champion Carlos Checa was sixth fastest on the Althea Racing Ducati ahead of Leon Camier on the FIXI Crescent Suzuki. Loris Baz was eighth fastest on the second Kawasaki.
John Hopkins improved two spots from his qualifying position to finish Superpole 14th.
World Superbike Superpole Qualifying:
1. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:53.855
2. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1:53.904
3. Marco Melandri (BMW) 1:53.912
4. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 1:54.148
5. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:54.300
6. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1:54.322
7. Leon Camier (Suzuki) 1:55.165
8. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 1:55.734
9. David Giugliano (Ducati) 1:54.540
10. Chaz Davies (Aprilia) 1:54.800
14. John Hopkins (Suzuki) 1:56.530