James Ellison 1’26.188
Shane Byrne 1’26.220
Josh Brookes 1’26.374
GBmoto Kawasaki’s James Ellison appears to have recovered from a nasty leg injury that he suffered earlier in the year to bag today's MCE British Superbike pole position at Brands Hatch ahead of Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki’s Shane Byrne and Milwaukee Yamaha’s Josh Brookes.
There was a dry racing line on track with the riders going out on slick tyres, but there were still some damp patches out on track so the riders were still cautious out on the circuit. But Ellison seemed to relish the mixed conditions and went one tenth faster than Byrne to nab the number one spot on the grid – his first this year after a 1'26.188.
One rider that was missing from the qualifying session was Buildbase BMW’s Ryuichi Kiyonari. He is still recovering from a collarbone injury that he sustained in the final free practice session. He will miss the first race today, but could be back in action tomorrow. But his recovery is being monitored every two hours. (Click here for more on this story.)
Halsall Racing’s Jon Kirkham heads row two, with Tyco Suzuki’s John Hopkins and Milwaukee Yamaha’s Tommy Bridewell completing the second row. RAF Reserves Honda’s Peter Hickman, Quattro Plant Kawasaki’s Dan Linfoot and Honda Racing’s development rider Julien Da Costa make up row three. Tsingtao Racing’s Gary Mason starts from tenth on the grid for the opening race later this afternoon.
James Ellison 1’26.643
Shane Byrne 1’26.917
John Hopkins 1’26.971
In a repeat of the first qualifying session it was Ellison who made his was to the top of the sheets once again, and managed to edge ahead of Byrne by 0.3 seconds to take the provisional pole spot.
Hopkins was also on a roll and sneaked into third after a 1’26.971. Bridewell and Mason were close of not fighting it out for pole and were teetering on the edge of the drop zone, but managed to hold on to make their way into Q3.
After having a solid Q1 TWR’s Jenny Tinmouth ended her qualifying session in the gravel at Stirlings Bend, and will start from 20th on the grid for the opening race this afternoon. But she was declared OK at the trackside and was able to walk away from the incident.
Joining Tinmouth in the elimination places was GBmoto Kawasaki’s Showdown rider Chris Walker, who is still recovering from a coccyx injury. The veteran racer was joined by fellow Kawasaki rider Howie Mainwaring, Stuart Easton and returnee, Lloyds British Ducati’s Jakub Smrz.
Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Waters experienced a crash in Q1 but still made it out to challenge for a front row start, but the wet weather specialist could not do enough to make it into the 1’26 bracket and remained in the drop zone, along with Staring, Wilson and Ingram.
James Ellison 1’27.529
Jon Kirkham 1’27.726
Josh Brookes 1’27.804
Byrne did end up on the grass up managed to remain upright and carried on to safely make his way into Q2. Elsewhere it was Ellison who set the pace with a 1’27.529, followed by Kirkham and Brookes who rounded up the top three.
But all the drama was happening near the drop zone and in the end it was Tinmouth who pipped Bathams BMW’s Patric Muff to the post, but did it in spectacular style – with only one-one thousandths of a second separating them from a place in the next qualifying session, or an elimination spot.
Tinmouth did look like she would not go through but a last lap dash definitely paid off and she went through to Q2. Muff was joined in the drop zone by Metcher, Backlund, Harms and Lo Turco. Zanotti and Ponsson had crashes both at Clarke Curve – but in separate incidences and were unable to make it back on track to contest for a place in Q2 – putting an abrupt end to their qualifying outing.
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