Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Brookes will start from the front row behind Shane Byrne and Samsung Honda’s Alex Lowes in tomorrow’s opening British Superbike Championship encounter at the sixth-round Brands Hatch GP in Kent.
Brookes topped the opening two qualifying sessions, eventually slotting into third place in Q3. Josh Brookes and Alex Lowes pushed Byrne hard for the top spot, but in the final minutes it was the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki that claimed his third pole position of the season as he aims for victory at his home circuit.
Ryuichi Kiyonari made it two Samsung Hondas on the front row of the grid as he edged out James Ellison on the Milwaukee Yamaha in the closing stages.
Josh Brookes: “I’m not disappointed with today. I’m just deep in thought to figure-out what the next step is going be: if it’s in gearing or spring rates in suspension; or riding position. What’s going to bring another couple of tenths for me to be able to better or equal the guys I’m trying to rival? I don’t want to settle for second or thirds. I want to win. Everyone has done a great job and we’ve made great improvements throughout the weekend so far, and the bike is running brilliant – we’ve just got to keep making that progress.”
Shane Byrne: “I love winning at Brands Hatch as much as anywhere else and to get pole position here is good for the races tomorrow as I am sure we will have a wonderful crowd and some great racing between us. I need to score two good results tomorrow and if that is two wins to take me to 50 then that will be fantastic. We have worked hard so far and we are all running a very similar pace at the front so fingers crossed we have some good battles tomorrow.”
James Westmoreland lines up for race one on row two of the grid on the leading Buildbase BMW along with Chris Walker on the Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki and PJ Jacobsen, who put in a strong performance despite missing the morning session with a technical problem. Dan Linfoot and Michael Rutter completed the top ten for the Lloyds British GBmoto Honda and Bathams Honda teams respectively.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch GP, Datatag Extreme Qualifying
1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 1m:25.672s
2. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) +0.123s
3. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.169s
4. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +0.284s
5. James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.327s
6. James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +0.370s
7. Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) +0.997s
8. PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +1.012s
9. Dan Linfoot (Lloyds British GBmoto Honda) +1.052s
10. Michael Rutter (Bathams Honda) +1.622s