The track was dry, if cold, promising to favour the Kawasakis, Aprilias and Jonathan Rea.
In the first session, Tom Sykes very quickly set the time to beat, and nobody could manage it, although Davide Giugliano and Jonathan Rea tried. Sylvain Guintoli was on the pace to beat Sykes's time, but the Kawasakis were strongest in the last sector on regular tyres, compared to the Aprilias being faster at the beginning of the lap, which meant what looked like a pole-time was not to be. The BMWs continued their unfortunate qualifying with Jules Cluzel knocking Chaz Davies out of 12th place at the flag with Melandri back in 8th.
Superpole two brought out the qualifiers for the top men. Carlos Checa quickly put in the target lap and Tom Sykes did his job and beat it by almost a second, with a 1'35.315. Eugene Laverty, Marco Melandri and Jonathan Rea went back to the garage after their fast laps, leaving the men at the bottom a clear track to try to sneak through to the last session. Loris Baz climbed to 6th place while Sylvain Guintoli grabbed the second spot at the flag. Jules Cluzel complained to his team about his front end in the pits before heading out to spend a qualifier on a lap that couldn't keep him in qualifying.
The last session decided the front three rows and this would be Jonathan Rea's last chance to beat his own qualifying lap record from 2010, a 1'34.944. He set the target lap at 1'36.243 which was beaten first by Eugene Laverty then Sylvain Guintoli. Tom Sykes then recorded a 1'35.043 which would proves unbeatable, securing another Tissot for the Sykes collection. Jonathan Rea would manage a late fast lap to secure a best-of-the-rest lap for second place on the grid. Loris Baz, sideways to the flag, clinched 5th place behind the Aprilias of Eugene Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli, while Davide Giugliano rounded out the mostly-French second row ahead of Marco Melandri leading the third.
Eugene Laverty said he wasn't sure what the race tyre would do, but that's the position all the riders are in. Jonathan Rea feels confident with his Honda on its home track, but agrees that track time has been limited by the wet Friday. Tom Sykes, sporting a qualifying beard, hoped for similar conditions tomorrow as the British-style weather suited him and his Kawasaki.
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'35.043
2. Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 1'35.639
3. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'35.814
4. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'35.973
5. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'36.166
6. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'36.326
7. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 1'36.330
8. Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1'36.438
9. Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'37.570
10. Jules Cluzel (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'36.837
11. Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1'36.937
12. Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1'38.561
13. Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 1'37.865
14. Ivan Clementi (HTM Racing) BMW S1000 RR 1'38.016
15. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Grillini Dentalmatic SBK) BMW S1000 RR 1'39.420
Didn't qualify for Superpole:
16. Federico Sandi (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'40.534
17. Mark Aitchison (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 1'41.408
18. Alexander Lundh (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'42.390
Qualified in QP1:
19. Leon Camier (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 2'01.728