Harris, who scored his first-ever British Superbike podiums at the picturesque track last year, has a 100 per cent record of front row starts this season with one third and three second places. Harris looked set to claim pole position after setting his fastest time with fifteen minutes to go, but he had to settle for second when a hard-charging Leon Haslam went three tenths of a second quicker in the closing moments of the fifty-minute session.
The Sheffield-based rider, who has scored a second and a third place finish this season, considers the track as one of his favourites and is keen to make it the home of his first-ever British Superbike win tomorrow.
Meanwhile, fellow HM Plant Honda rider Ryuichi Kiyonari experienced a disappointing afternoon and starts the two 17-lap races from an uncustomary fourth row, with a 13th place start.
The Japanese rider knows that he will have his work cut out at the demanding 2.69-mile track but is determined to make his presence felt, aboard his HM Plant Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade, at the Bank Holiday meeting.
Meanwhile HM Plant National Superstock rider John McGuinness starts round four of the National Superstock Championship from the front row in third place.
The Morecambe-based rider, who scored a fifth place finish from a second row start last time out at Thruxton, is determined to convert his front row to a race-winning result.
Karl Harris: “Fantastic, I really love racing here and I just want to win tomorrow. The HM Plant Honda CBR1000RR was brilliant today and fingers crossed it will be the same tomorrow. It would have been good to have pole but second will do nicely.”
Ryuichi Kiyonari: “I m not happy with today but I have a couple more things I want to try in tomorrow’s morning session. I need to get a good start and make sure I have two positive rides and convert my grid position into two strong finishes.”
John McGuinness: “It’s great to see it all coming together now. The HM Plant Honda CBR1000RR felt absolutely fantastic out there and I’m really looking forward to the race tomorrow.”
1, Leon Haslam (Ducati) 1m35.120s,
2, Karl Harris (HM Plant Honda) +0.349s,
3, Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) +0.370s,
4, James Haydon (Suzuki) +0.521s,
5, Shane Byrne (Suzuki) +0.903s,
6, Michael Rutter (Honda) +1.046s,
7, Jonathan Rea (Honda) +1.059s,
8, Dean Thomas (Kawasaki) +1.559s,
9, Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +1.568s,
10, Glen Richards (Honda) +1.588s.,
13, Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +2.322s.
1, John Laverty (Suzuki) 1m39.722s,
2, Brendan Roberts (Suzuki) +0.355s,
3, John McGuinness (HM Plant Honda) +0.782s,
4, Ian Hutchinson (Suzuki) +0.790s,
5, Lee Jackson (Kawasaki) +0.895s,
6, Adrian Coates (Suzuki) +0.973s,
7, Luke Quigley (Suzuki) +1.246s,
8, David Johnson (Yamaha) +1.246s,
9, Howie Mainwaring (Yamaha) +1.288s,
10, Tristan Palmer (Suzuki) +1.295s.
The first 17-lap British Superbike race takes place at 14.00, with race two at 16.35 and the British Supersport race at 13.05. The ITV1 broadcast window is 15.30 to 17.30.