Jason O’Halloran took pole position for this afternoon’s Bennetts British Superbike Championship race at Silverstone, the McAMS Yamaha rider putting in a blistering lap of 53.169s to defeat team-mate Tarran Mackenzie by just 0.030s with Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) taking third despite a late spill.
A star studded Q1 kickstarted the session with four of the Showdown contenders – Rory Skinner, Andrew Irwin, Danny Buchan and Ryan Vickers – having to take part, but they all duly progressed into Q2, along with Honda’s Ryo Mizuno and Luke Stapleford, with FS-3 Racing’s Skinner the quickest at 53.735s.
However, Irwin had a high speed spill at Copse and although uninjured, the same couldn’t be said for the Synetiq BMW and he missed the first half of Q2 as his crew rapidly repaired the M1000RR.
Just 12 minutes in duration once more, Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) set the early pace with a first flying lap of 53.636s which put him 0.031s ahead of Lee Jackson, but that changed a minute later with Honda’s Glenn Irwin going quickest at 53.455s and O’Halloran putting his Yamaha into second.
Peter Hickman then jumped into second on the FHO Racing BMW, just 0.060s slower than Irwin but next time around, it was O’Halloran’s turn to top the timesheets, the championship leader lapping at 53.362s.
That put Hickman down to third with Iddon and Mizuno now in fourth and fifth but all three dropped a further spot when Mackenzie went third quickest.
Irwin then improved his time to 53.182s only for O’Halloran to edge him out shortly afterwards with a 53.1690s. Klye Ryde then crashed out at Becketts before practice pace setter Bridewell showed some pace to move into third with Vickers slotting into a good fifth on the RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki.
Shortly afterwards, Bridewell went second quickest but just a few yards later his session ended as he crashed at Copse with the Ducati Panigale cartwheeling through the gravel trap.
Mackenzie edged ahead of him but it was O’Halloran who took his fourth pole of the season, with a late lap by Gino Rea on the Buildbase Suzuki enabling him to take fourth from Glenn Irwin with Vickers settling for sixth and the second row.
An even later lap saw Josh Brookes go from 13th to seventh on the VisionTrack Ducati with Hickman, Jackson and Iddon completing the top 10.
Andrew Irwin made the most of his five minutes on track to take 11th, only 0.384s behind O’Halloran with Mizuno taking a season’s best 12th.