Tom Sykes will start on pole position for Sunday's two World Superbikes races at Magny-Cours.

The British racer mastered tricky conditions and got his Kawasaki around the circuit fastest for the eighth time this season.

The series leader is joined on the front row by one of his title rivals in Sylvain Guintoli, with Ireland’s Eugene Laverty in fourth place after Althea Aprilia's Davide Giugliano completed the front row.

The quickest times arrived towards the end of the second Superpole session as the track dried, with many riders on slick tyres despite conditions still being officially classified as 'wet'.

Sykes clocked one minute 38.592 seconds in his final flying lap to cement first position by eight-tenths of a second from Guintoli, who lies third in the season standings 24 points back.

Guintoli's Aprilia Racing team-mate Laverty is second, a point better off than the Frenchman, but could only manage 1:40.410 and was half a second slower than Italian Giugliano.

Two more Italians, Michele Fabrizio and Ayrton Badovini, join the Irishman on the second row with Marco Melandri, Chaz Davies and Vincent Philippe - a substitute for the injured Leon Camier - on row three.

Philippe was one of three riders to obstruct Sykes late on his fastest lap and the pole-sitter said afterwards: "This is a great place to get pole position, especially in these conditions.

"Three riders in two corners made it very difficult for me in the fast lap so I am sure it was very exciting for those watching on TV! From where I was sitting it was quite dangerous.

"I hope it is dry tomorrow because if we have good conditions everybody will be fighting and putting on a good show for the crowd. In dry conditions we know what to expect."