MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Sylvain Guintoli of France produced the fastest-ever qualifying time at the Phillip Island circuit to claim pole position for Sunday's opening race of the World Superbike Championships.

Guintoli steered his Aprilia around the 4.445 kilometer circuit in 1 minute, 30.038 seconds, beating the previous best lap of 1 minute, 30.234 seconds, set by Carlos Checa last year.

Italy's David Guigliano (Ducati) posted a best lap of 1 minute, 30.135 seconds to also go under Checa's record and to join Guintoli at the front of the grid. Also on the front row for Sunday's two 22-lap races is Marco Melandri who had a best time of 1 minute, 30.332 seconds.

The second row will comprise Eugene Laverty (Suzuki), Alex Lowes (Suzuki) and Jonathan Rea (Honda).