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Assen WSBK: Guintoli tops rain-hit first qualifying

Effenbert Ducati's Sylvain Guintoli did just one flying lap to take provisional World Superbike pole at Assen after the heavens opened just a couple of minutes this afternoon, leaving the riders out of pitane sharpish to take the top spots.

Frenchman Guintoli was almost as fast with his flier as Marco Melandri was after first free practice this morning, lapping in 1'37.600 but he was only three one-hundredths faster than Kawasaki's Tom Sykes in a session which could set the positions for Superpole tomorrow if second qualifying tomorrow is also wet.

If that were the case, Max Biaggi will not make it and start from 17th on the grid which is good news for title rival Carlos Checa, who is on the outside of the provisional front row with Fixi Suzuki's Leon Camier one place ahead in third.


Jonathan Rea did one tentative lap in the wet before thinking better of it and settling for fifth with Michel Fabrizio, Ayrton Badovini and Marco Melandri next to him on row two. Maxime Berger, Chaz Davies, Eugene Laverty and Jakub Smrz are on row three while John Hopkins and Leon Haslam, who crashed unhurt on a wet lap, are are ahead of Brett McCormick in 15th. David Salom's Pedercini Kawasaki will be the last man in Superpole if it remains wet tomorrow.

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