LAS VEGAS (AP) _ Reigning MBNA Superbike Series Champion Doug Chandler took the pole Saturday at the Nevada Classic at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Chandler, the reigning MBNA Superbike Series champion, set a new motorcycle track record on the 2.5-mile road course with a run of 91.965 mph on his Kawasaki.

Chandler, with 280 points, needs only a 15th-place finish or better in Sunday's season finale to capture the 1997 MBNA Superbike Series Championship. Chandler's closest competitor is 1995 series champion Miguel Duhamel, with 260 points.

``I was fortunate that I got a good clear lap,'' said Chandler. ``I was really only concerned about a front row position. I feel comfortable, and what I do Sunday depends on what the pace is like.''

Chandler, of Salinas, Calif., won the championships in 1990 and 1996.

Second on Sunday's starting grid is 15th-ranked Harley-Davidson rider Thomas Wilson of Oregon, Ohio. Wilson turned in a 91.856 mph run. This marks the first time either Wilson or a Harley-Davidson have seen the front row this season.

Australian Mat Mladin will start in third with a 91.674. Mladin is currently ranked third in the MBNA Superbike Series with 252 points.

Rich Oliver put his Yamaha on the front row in only his second Superbike race of the season. Oliver, the current AMA 250cc Grand Prix Champion, was given a chance to ride the last two Superbike races of the year for Yamaha and this will be his first-ever start on the front row of a Superbike final. Oliver's speed was 91.622.