Ten Kate Honda's recently crowned World Supersport champion, Chris Vermeulen snatched pole position with a red-hot final lap in qualifying on Saturday at Magny-Cours in France.
"I made a silly mistake on my last lap but I am very pleased with the outcome. I am going for the win tomorrow," said the 21-year-old Australian who clinched his third pole position of 2003.
Team-mate Karl Muggeridge will also start on the front row, having posted the fourth quickest time for Sunday's race and is eager to equal Vermeulen's run of three consecutive wins. "I would rather win tomorrow than today!" said Muggeridge. "I improved my time a bit and everything is in tip-top condition for a great race tomorrow."
Ten Kate new boy Broc Parkes was in equally buoyant mood following a fantastic sixth place on the grid. "The bike's very good and I am hoping for a podium. It's all new for me and I am still a little ring rusty. My aim will be to go with the lead group and take it from there," said Parkes who was on the podium at Misano Adriatico, Italy in June for the BKM Honda team.
Team manager Ronald ten Kate was delighted with the day's effort. "Two riders on the front row and then Broc on the second. It's the perfect scenario and a great bonus for us. We could not have asked for anything more.
"Our race set-up will make a difference on Sunday. The combination of Pirelli tyres and WP suspension has been working a treat. Add to this the electric speed of the Honda CBR600RR and you have got a pretty potent cocktail!"
A win for Vermeulen will mean that the young Australian will shatter Fabien Foret's points record of 186, set in 2002. Furthermore, he will equal Fabrizio Pirovano's mark for the most wins in a season: five. And, it would be Ten Kate Honda's seventh win from 11 rounds. Yet another record!
Final World Supersport championship qualifying times:
1 Chris Vermeulen, Australia (Ten Kate Honda) 1m 43.548s, 2 Sébastien Charpentier, France (Honda) 1m 43.881s, 3 Fabien Foret, France (Kawasaki) 1m 43.894s, 4 Karl Muggeridge, Australia (Ten Kate Honda) 1m 43.930s, 5 Stéphane Chambon, France (Suzuki) 1m 44.325s, 6 Broc Parkes, Australia (Ten Kate Honda) 1m 44.510s, 7 Katsuaki Fujiwara, Japan (Suzuki) 1m 44.520s, 8 Pere Riba, Spain (Kawasaki) 1m 44.770s, 9 Christian Kellner, Germany (Yamaha) 1m 44.771s, 10 Julien Da Costa, France (Kawasaki) 1m 45.068.