Ducati Xerox's Troy Bayliss did it again, the Australian throwing down the gauntlet in Superpole at Vallelunga in Italy with a lap of 1:36.600 that stole pole position from his countryman and Superpole King Troy Corser.
Last to go in Superpole qualifying, Bayliss was slower through the first segment but he made it up on the rest of the lap to best Corser. Corser, meanwhile, had taken a second off his best effort from regular qualifying and shot to the top - taking the spot from his teammate Noriyuki Haga who held it for most of the session.
Corser's Superpole lap was a 1:36.730 with Haga coming in at 1:36.915, but Bayliss topped both the Yamahas with his effort.
Fourth on the front row for tomorrow's two World Superbike races will be hometown hero Max Biaggi, the Roman posting a 1:37.134.
The second row of the grid will be led by Ryuichi Kiyonari, the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider clicking off a 1:37.342. Behind him came German Max Neukirchner on the Alstare Suzuki with Bayliss's teammate Michel Fabrizio, also in front of a home crowd and his enthusiastic fan club, and Alstare Suzuki's Yukio Kagayama rounding out the second row.
Row three will feature Lorenzo Lanzi, Fonsi Nieto, Robby Rolfo and Kenan Sufuoglu.
Spaniards Carlos Checa and Ruben Xaus had Superpole laps they'd rather forget with both men crashing out. Checa, who was sixth after regular qualifying, went first, losing the front in a left hander. Then Xaus followed almost immediately, losing the front and crashing in a right hander. Xaus was fifth after regular qualifying.
1. Troy Bayliss (Ducati) 1:36.600
2. Troy Corser (Yamaha) 1:36.730
3. Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha) 1:36.915
4. Max Biaggi (Ducati) 1:37.134
5. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 1:37.342
6. Max Neukirchner (Suzuki) 1:37.427
7. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) 1:37.550
8. Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki) 1:37.607
9. Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati) 1:37.692
10. Fonsi Nieto (Suzuki) 1:37.820