Sylvain Guintoli showed that he'd lost none of his race-winning capability today, putting together a strong qualifying performance ready for tomorrow's British Superbike races at Cadwell Park.
Despite three months off a bike and despite this being Guintoli's debut at this difficult and technical track, the Worx Crescent Suzuki star finished barely 0.16-second off a front row position, easily making the final ten in the roll-for-pole and claiming the 7th starting position.
Sylvain Guintoli: "We've been making good progress, the rate of learning has been flowing nicely and in those last sessions, Q2 and Q3, I got a feeling I was properly riding again, up until then it felt like I was just cruising which you need to be doing when you're learning this circuit.
"It was a shame we're not on the front row, we're almost there, but on my final fast lap I made a small mistake and I could tell it cost me a good three-tenths of a second. I certainly feel there's more to come."
Jack Valentine, team manager: "These past two days have been fantastic. Everything is going to plan, Sylvain's got faster with every session. This place is extremely technical and very narrow so you have to be careful with your learning so, as ever, Sylvain's being going about his job the right way.
"Given his best sector times Sylvain had the pace to secure third-fastest today so we're happy he's learnt what he needs. The times are very tight from second through to seventh too, so I'm sure he'll improve again tomorrow. We're looking to get a good first race under our belt and then we'll see what will come for the second."
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli, Swan Combi 50 - Roll for Pole, Cadwell Park:
1. Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha) 1m27:397s
2. John Laverty (Buildbase Kawasaki) +0.672s
3. Simon Andrews (Confused.com Kawasaki) +0.715s
4. Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) +0.780s
5. Ian Lowry (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +0.796s
6. Karl Harris (Hydrex Honda) +0.808s
7. Sylvain Guintoli (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +0.882s
8. James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) +1.154s
9. Julien Da Costa (Confused.com Kawasaki) +1.409s
10. Chris Walker (Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha) +1.757s