BYRNE’S LATE SCORCHER TO SNATCH FIRST POLE START OF SEASON FROM HILL

Richards is aiming to keep ahead of Kennedy this weekend

Richards is aiming to keep ahead of Kennedy this weekend

Round seven – 21/22 July – Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit

Shane “Shakey” Byrne saved the best for last as he scorched his Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki to his first pole start of the MCE Insurance British Superbike season, though the former two times winner of the crown was pushed hard by reigning champion Tommy Hill.
Swan Yamaha’s Hill who carries the confidence from his winning hat-trick in the previous round had set the pace and was initially under pressure from Samsung Honda’s Michael Laverty but Byrne stole the show on the circuit where he made his racing debut, as he snatched the top spot on the leaderboard.
“It has been a long time coming and now we have to convert it into race wins,” said Byrne who had signed off last season with a winning double at the circuit. “We are having to ride really hard and  cannot rest on anything. We need to keep working to maintain our race pace and will be trying one or two ideas in the morning warm-up session.”
Hill was denied a fifth pole start  by just 0.062secs and is gearing up for the races tomorrow at the track where he lifted the title so sensationally last October. He said “We are where we need to be and now we have to keep our pace strong. If we are not moving forwards, others will be, so we will be pushing hard.”
Laverty and his team had wrestled with changing settings across the day and found the best for the qualifying session, he said: “We’ve had a few issues and made changes but there is still work to be done and we’ll be looking into that before the races.”
Aussie Josh Brookes completes the front row for Tyco Suzuki despite a crash in the earlier free practice session, easing former World Superbike star Noriyuki Haga back into fifth place and with it a second row start alongside Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki’s Chris Walker and the WFR Honda duo of James Westmoreland and Graeme Gowland.
For more information please visit www.britishsuperbike.com
Results
Qualifying, top six:
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 1m:25.908s
2: Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +0.062s
3: Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +0.297s
4: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.431s
5: Noriyuki Haga (Swan Yamaha) +0.444s
6: Chris Walker (Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki) +0.448s
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