Shane Byrne – 1’26.265
Peter Hickman – 1’26.346
Leon Haslam – 1’26.380
Be Wiser Ducati’s Shane Byrne will start the opening MCE British Superbike race at Cadwell Park from pole position, after blasting to the top of the timesheets during qualifying this afternoon.
The Ducati man set his fastest time of the weekend with a 1’26.265, and was one tenth quicker than the other two riders on the front row. Lining up alongside the five-time champ is local lad, Smiths BMW’s Peter Hickman and the lap record holder, JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam.
In the end there were only 0.04s separating Hickman and Haslam with the S1000RR just pipping the ZX-10RR to the post. At one point it did look like RAF Reserves Kawasaki’s Jake Dixon was going to end up at the front, but he could not go quicker than his 1’26.458 time.
One rider who had his best qualifying of the season was Smiths BMW’s Lee Jackson. The Lincolnshire racer made it all the way into Q3 and will start from P6. Making up row two is Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran.
It is a local track for the Fireblade factory team and both O’Halloran and Linfoot have completed recent tests at the track. Linfoot heads up the third row and alongside him are the Tyco backed S1000RR’s of Andy Reid and Christian Iddon.
Rookie Reid had his qucikest qualifying to date and will start just ahead of his team-mate, Iddon. The Stockport racer experienced a technical problem right at the beginning of the session and was unable to put down as many laps as his fellow countrymen.
Peter Hickman - 1’26.445
Christian Iddon - 1’26.564
Shane Byrne - 1’26.585
It was a dramatic second qualifying as Byrne was dangerously close to not making it into the final session to fight for pole, as he was dwelling as far down as tenth. Then he lapped a 1’26.585 which pushed him up to third on his final rotation.
In doing that time it pushed title rival, Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha’s Josh Brookes out of the top nine and out of contention for a chance to fight for a front row start. When the chequered flags appeared the 2015 champion was only 0.05s shy of ninth on the timing-screens and now heads row four for race one tomorrow.
But the fastest rider in the second session was Hickman, with Iddon one tenth slower to bag the P2 spot on the timesheets with a 1’26.564.
The McAMS Yamaha bikes have been gaining pace throughout the race weekend but unfortunately the bikes belonging to Michael Laverty and James Ellison were unable to progress into Q3. Laverty shares row four with Brookes and Bridewell. Also eliminated were Jessopp, Ray and Irwin.
On the nine minute mark John Hopkins fell at Park Corner but he was able to remount the Panigale to retreat to the pits. The American went back out but soon came back into the pits again as it looked like he might have hurt his right hand in the incident and niggled an old injury. The Moto Rapido Ducati rider was unable to improve after completing only one lap and will start race one from P17, and was still the fastest rider in sector one.
Shane Byrne – 1’26.953
Leon Haslam – 1’27.011
John Hopkins – 1’27.130
Byrne was the only rider to lap inside the 1’26 barrier and was the quickest in the opening qualifying outing. Haslam and Hopkins also made their way onto the provisional front row with a tenth separating the pair on
There was a faller in the first qualifying session which was former World Superbike rider, Jakub Smrz. He was OK but he was unable to improve on his time and dropped into the drop zone as Reid went quicker to go P18.
It was not a great session for the Bennetts Suzuki outfit as both of their riders, Sylvain Guintoli and Taylor Mackenzie could not make it into the top 18 times. Even a last lap dash was not strong enough by the ex-World Superbike champion as he was a tenth short of bettering Reid’s time that would have secured his place in Q2.
On the exit of Charlies, local rider James Westmoreland crashed and was taken to the medical centre for further assessment, even though he was 16th fastest in Q1. Joining the Bennetts bike in the elimination spots was Smrz, Winfield and Zanotti.