Rhys Irwin claimed his maiden pole position in the Quattro Group British Supersport Championship on Saturday morning with the Appleyard Macadam Yamaha rider taking the top spot for this afternoon’s Sprint race at Silverstone by 0.087s from Jack Kennedy (HEL Performance/Bournemouth Kawasaki) and Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki).
It was Irwin’s team-mate Bradley Perie who put in a succession of quick laps at the beginning of the session and after five minutes, he’d bettered Curries’s quickest time from Friday to lead the way by 0.194s with Irwin in second from Kennedy, Currie, Lee Johnston (Ashcourt Racing Yamaha) and Mason Law (Spirit Motocorsa).
Johnston quickly moved up to second with Currie taking over third to bump Irwin and Kennedy down the order and after ten minutes, the latter two named swapped positions on the leaderboard with just 0.194s covering the top five.
Johnston closed the gap to Perie to 0.006s on his next flying lap and at the halfway stage of the 30-minute session they continued to occupy the top two positions ahead of Currie, Kennedy, Irwin and Law, the latter the quickest GP2 competitor with Dan Jones (iForce Lloyd & Jones Spirit) and Charlie Nesbitt (RS Racing Kalex) running in eighth and ninth.
Kennedy then moved into third at the expense of championship rival and fellow Kawasaki runner Currie with Nesbitt gaining two places to slot into seventh behind fellow GP2 runner Law.
Former double champion Kennedy was putting together a good run of laps and he posted the first sub 56s lap with a time of 55.994s which sent him to the top of the timesheets but it remained close, his advantage over Perie just 0.061s.
Dutch regular Jamie van Sikkelerus was another to be enjoying the session and with ten minutes to go, he’d moved into seventh on his MPM Routz Racing Yamaha. Fellow Yamaha rider Scott Swann was also going well in tenth on the IFS Racing backed machine.
Back at the sharp end and Irwin overhauled Currie for fourth with Nesbitt establishing himself as the leading GP2 rider in sixth but this changed shortly afterwards with Law going fifth quickest.
Johnston was also on the charge and moved back into second spot but that didn’t last long either as Currie went quickest with a 55.815s lap putting him 0.091s of new second place man Perie, Kennedy and Johnston dropping back to third and fourth respectively as a result.
It was then Irwin’s turn to take P1 with an impressive lap of 55.698s and, just moments later, Kennedy also improved his time to go into second, 0.087s adrift of his fellow countryman.
With a red flag bringing the session to a premature end, two and a half minutes earlier than scheduled, positions remained unchanged and it was Irwin who took the top spot from Kennedy, Currie, Perie and Johnston with Nesbitt’s sixth place seeing him the quickest GP2 rider, one place ahead of Law.
Harry Truelove, Dan Jones and Eunan McGlinchey completed the top ten and with Kyle Smith sadly a non-starter after fracturing his pelvis on Friday, Michael Dunlop took 22nd on the sole Dynavolt Triumph.