Ben Spies confirmed his form by taking provisional pole position at Valencia this morning, putting him in prime position for Superpole this afternoon. But Spies took top spot by just a fraction, Regis Laconi getting his DFX Corse Ducati to within 5/1000ths of a second of Spies' Yamaha, and pushing Max Biaggi's Aprilia down to third.
The session was a difficult one for the Aprilias, with Shinya Nakano's Aprilia blowing a seal and spewing oil all over the track, causing the session to be red flagged briefly to clean it up. Even worse for Nakano, the oil on his back tire caused the Japanese rider to highside nastily, breaking his left collarbone in the process and ruling him out of the rest of the weekend. Biaggi fared little better, being sidelined twice with technical problems.
The BMWs, on the other hand, showed some signs of improving, Troy Corser jumping up to 6th place in the standings, ahead of Ducati's Noriyuki Haga, who was unable to improve his time from yesterday.
The problem is that the times are so close that a couple of hundredths can move riders up or down the standings several places. Team Pedercini's David Salom is the first rider to be over a second behind Spies' time, but this leaves him down in 21st place, and out of Superpole. Series newcomer John Hopkins is just 0.847 off Spies, and has only just scraped into Superpole. But on a new bike and new tires, and after having ridden the bike for little more than an hour before arriving at Valencia, that's not bad going, especially as he is just over 1/10th behind his team mate Leon Haslam.
The final grid positions will be determined by this afternoon's Superpole session, scheduled to kick off at 3pm.
Aggregate World Superbike result after QP2: