Hill claimed his third pole position of the season

Hill claimed his third pole position of the season

Round five –23/24 – Knockhill

Tommy Hill celebrated his third pole start of the season ahead of the Scottish fifth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Knockhill and the reigning champion is now focussed on trying to repeat his winning double at the Fife circuit last season to regain the lead in the overall standings.

Riding the Swan Yamaha, Hill mastered the changing conditions putting in a best lap of 48.785s which was just enough to keep him ahead of Samsung Honda’s Michael Laverty who crashed out at Scotsman Corner in a last lap bid to snatch the top spot in qualifying.

Hill, who goes into these races trailing Josh Brookes by a single point, said: “The conditions were tricky and it is always hard to know hard to push on, so I am please to come out on top and now we will have to see how it goes in the races. We’ve been going pretty well in the wet as well as this in the dry but the important thing is that we are at the front.”

Laverty, bidding to repeat his Snetterton performance where he took a win and a second place, blamed himself for his crash, explaining: “I was pushing hard, made a few mistakes and tried a bit too hard into the corner – it was a silly little crash, losing the front end but I am confident that in the races I can keep the momentum going.”

Shakey leads Hill Kirkham and Haga

Shakey leads Hill Kirkham and Haga

Tyco Suzuki’s Brookes completed the front row on the Tyco Suzuki and said: “I made little mistakes and they put in impressive lap times and I am disappointed with myself but just pleased to be on the front row.”

Former two times title winner Shane Byrne starts his Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki from the second row alongside Padgett’s Honda rider Ian Lowry and Noriyuki Haga who sensationally bounced back from a crash during the second qualifying session to set sixth best time to complete row two.

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Qualifying, top six:
1: Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 48.785s
2: Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +0.068s
3: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.329s
4: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.375s
5: Ian Lowry (Padgetts Honda) +0.487s
6: Noriyuki Haga (Swan Yamaha) +0.727s

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