Marco Melandri took his first ever pole position in World Superbikes after edging out Max Biaggi in the third Superpole session at Motorland Aragon.

The Yamaha rider sneaked under the radar in the first two sessions, coming close to being knocked out in both of them, but delivered at the crucial moment to set the fastest time of the weekend, a 1:57.634 to edge out Biaggi by a tenth of a second.

The reigning champion was quickest in SP2 and entered the final session as the favourite and initially set the standard with a 1:57.790, but Melandri was running close behind in an attempt to pick up a slipstream, and his tactic paid dividends.

Biaggi will at least be pleased to have his Alitalia Aprilia teammate Leon Camier alongside him in third, demoting championship leader Carlos Checa to fourth on the grid. Tomorrow's first race marks the halfway stage in the season and if Biaggi is to resurrect his title defence, he must surely start to make inroads into Checa's 72 point lead.

Just a week after taking a stunning pole position at Misano, Tom Sykes qualified fifth for the factory Kawasaki squad, with Joan Lascorz joining him in SP3 before taking seventh, proving the progress being made by the Japanese manufacturer.

Starting in between them will be Eugene Laverty in sixth while Ayrton Badovini matched his best qualifying result in eighth for the BMW Motorrad Italia squad. The factory BMW team had a day to forget with both riders dropping out in SP1. As a result, Leon Haslam and Troy Corser will start tomorrow's races 14th and 16th respectively.

Today also marked the first time this year that Castrol Honda failed to make it into the Superpole session. Ruben Xaus ended the qualifying practice sessions in 17th while Jonathan Rea is sitting this weekend out, after the injuries he sustained at Misano.


Superpole Result:

Pos Rider Nat Team Lap Time
1 Marco Melandri ITA Yamaha World Superbike Team 1:57.634
2 Max Biaggi ITA Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team 1:57.790
3 Leon Camier GBR Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team 1:58.279
4 Carlos Checa SPA Althea Racing 1:58.472
5 Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki Racing Team 1:58.641
6 Eugene Laverty IRL Yamaha World Superbike Team 1:58.756
7 Joan Lascorz SPA Kawasaki Racing Team 1:59.194
8 Ayrton Badovini ITA BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team 1:59.591
Eliminated in Superpole 2
9 Noriyuki Haga JAP PATA Racing Team Aprilia 1:58.566
10 Sylvain Guintoli FRA Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing 1:58.640
11 Michel Fabrizio ITA Team Suzuki Alstare 1:58.950
12 Mark Aitchison AUS Team Pedercini 1:59.680
Eliminated in Superpole 1
13 Jakub Smrz CZE Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing 1:59.355
14 Leon Haslam GBR BMW Motorrad Motorsport 1:59.367
15 Maxime Berger FRA Supersonic Racing Team 1:59.507
16 Troy Corser AUS BMW Motorrad Motorsport 1:59.565
Failed to Qualify for Superpole Session
17 Ruben Xaus SPA Castrol Honda 2:00.432
18 Chris Vermeulen AUS Kawasaki Racing Team 2:00.507
19 Roberto Rolfo ITA Team Pedercini 2:00.678
20 Lorenzo Lanzi ITA BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team 2:00.776