The Suzuki Endurance Racing Team has taken pole position for the 8 Horas Nocturnas of Albacete to continue their perfect start to the 2011 World Endurance season.

The reigning World Champions kicked off their title defence with victory in the Bol D'or at Magny Cours, but the French team were made to work hard to secure pole in Spain.

After qualifying fourth on Friday, they had it all to do in Q2, but Vincent Philippe's blistering lap resulted in a 1:30.409, which was a quarter of a second quicker than his rivals could manage in that session.

Although his teammates Freddy Foray and Daisaku Sakai couldn't match his pace, their times were good enough to edge SERT ahead of BMW Motorrad France 99 who will start second.

The S1000RR set the fastest time out of all three sessions in the hands of Erwan Nigon who was over a second ahead of the competition in his session, setting a 1:30.252. When the average times were calculated though, the all French line-up missed out on pole by less than a tenth of a second.

Monster Yamaha – YART were down in 14th in the third session but had still don enough to seal third place on the grid, just ahead of Yamaha Racing France GMT 94 Ipone in fourth.

The all-British team of Steve Plater, John McGuinness and Keith Amor qualified an excellent fifth as Honda TT Legends look to follow on from their impressive debut at Magny Cours five weeks ago.

The race starts at 6pm local time and will run into the night, with the chequered flag falling at 2 o'clock on Sunday morning in south east Spain.