Josh Brookes powered the Milwaukee Yamaha to a front row start for tomorrow’s opening MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race with the Australian qualifying second on the grid.
Jakub Smrz spectacularly scored his debut pole position, while Dan Linfoot also celebrated his best result with third place in Datatag Qualifying at Thruxton.
Brookes and the team had been working hard throughout the free practice sessions and it paid off in qualifying, ending 0.116s adrift of pole-sitter Jakub Smrz. Tommy Bridewell will start the opening race from the second row of the grid in sixth position and is confident of a fighting position in the two races tomorrow.
Josh Brookes: “The Milwaukee Yamaha is working well here, we have made improvements over the weekend to get the compromise we needed and the combination has given me the feeling and drive that we had been looking for. We were fast in the wet and then this afternoon we were there in the dry in qualifying. I have done a lot of laps on the race tyre and we needed to get more laps on that as what I need to do to beat Shakey in the Championship is to win races. I am focused on that and I am happy with today.”
Tommy Bridewell: “I am disappointed with qualifying this afternoon as I don’t feel that the second row was the best we could have achieved. I didn’t get the chance to show what we know we are capable of doing today but we are going to reassess everything this evening so we can fix the problem ready for the races tomorrow. We know that we can run a good pace and to be honest it is the races that are important.”
Pole-sitter Smirz saved his best until last to storm to the top of the times for the Millsport Ducati team in their debut campaign, scoring Ducati’s first pole position since 2010. Smrz’s lap was just 0.116s ahead of Milwaukee Yamaha’s Josh Brookes who had topped the opening qualifying session.
Jakub Smrz: “It feels really good to be on pole position. This season is new for the Panigale and this is only my second season in the championship so we have been working hard and this a good achievement for us. I have been getting used to the bike and we have been improving all the time so today we have proved we are moving forward. I really like this track, we just need to keep on trying and see what we can do in the races tomorrow. Hopefully we can have a good start and fight for a podium.”
Linfoot’s lap pushed championship leader Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne back on to the second row on board the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki ahead of Michael Rutter on the Bathams BMW and local ace Tommy Bridewell.
John Hopkins had topped the second qualifying session for Tyco Suzuki, but he will start seventh on the grid ahead of Peter Hickman on the RAF Reserves Honda and the lone Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki of Chris Walker. Jon Kirkham scored his best qualifying result of the season in tenth for the Halsall Biker Gear Kawasaki squad.
Thruxton Qualifying Results
1. Jakub Smrz CZE Milsport Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1m 15.281s
2. Josh Brookes AUS Milwaukee Yamaha YZF-R1 1m 15.397s
3. Dan Linfoot GBR Quattro Plant Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 15.623s
4. Shane Byrne GBR Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 15.626s
5. Michael Rutter GBR Bathams BMW S1000RR 1m 15.656s
6. Tommy Bridewell GBR Milwaukee Yamaha YZF-R1 1m 15.943s
7. John Hopkins USA Tyco Suzuki GSX-R1000 1m 15.969s
8. Peter Hickman GBR RAF Reserves Honda CBR1000RR 1m 16.024s
9. Chris Walker GBR GBmoto Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 16.071s
10. Jon Kirkham GBR Halsall Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 16.770s
11. Ryuichi Kiyonari JPN Buildbase BMW S1000RR 1m 16.181s
12. Richard Cooper GBR Anvil TAG Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 16.248s
13. Lee Jackson GBR Buildbase BMW S1000RR 1m 16.354s
14. Keith Farmer GBR PR Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 16.480s
15. Patric Muff SUI Bathams BMW S1000RR 1m 16.480s
16. Josh Waters AUS Tyco Suzuki GSX-R1000 1m 16.642s
17. Barry Burrell GBR WD-40 Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 16.823s
18. Martin Jessopp GBR RidersMotorcycles.com BMW S1000RR 1m 16.905s
19. Stuart Easton GBR Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 17.208s
20. Ian Hutchinson GBR FXX Yamaha YZF-R1 1m 17.810s
21. Howie Mainwaring GBR Quattro Plant Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 17.448s
22. Aaron Zanotti GBR AZ Suzuki GSX-R1000 1m 17.551s
23. John Ingram GBR Morello Services PBR Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 17.752s
24. Ben Wilson GBR Gearlink Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 17.926s
25. Jenny Tinmouth GBR TWR Honda CBR1000RR 1m 18.612s
26. Shaun Winfield GBR Tsingtao WK Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 18.691s
27. Christophe Ponsson LUX Alstare Junior Bimota BB3 1m 19.035s
28. Rhalf Lo Turco BRA SBK City Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 19.984s
Images courtesy Milwaukee Yamaha