-- Lowes on pole from Byrne - Brookes on front row
Datatag Extreme Qualifying for Race one:
1: Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) 1m:34.884s
2: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.460s
3: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.900s
4: Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +1.130s
5: Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +1.142s
6: Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) +1.214s
7: Tommy Bridewell (Bathams Honda) +1.326s
8: Peter Hickman (Lloyds British GBmoto Honda) +1.786s
9: Karl Harris (PR Racing Kawasaki) +2.346s
10: James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha)
Alex Lowes scorched his Samsung Honda to pole position for the Bank Holiday Monday third round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park as he set the fastest lap of the Cheshire circuit since the change in technical regulations.
Lowes had been on the pace across the weekend but he slashed the time when it mattered most to power ahead of triple champion and current series leader Shane Byrne aboard the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki to take his second consecutive pole start.
“That was a pretty good lap although I never expected to be able to set a time in the 34s - that is a credit to how well the bike works,” said Lowes after his stunning lap time of 1m 34.834s.
“I am feeling good for the races, tyre life is good, the bike is fantastic, so now it is down to me but there will be nothing easy out there with so many good riders,” added Lowes who has finished all four races so far in the top three.
Byrne is determined to hit back in the races after missing out on the pole position, he said: “I’m not here to finish second – we have done a lot of work this weekend so we are ready for the races. That was probably one of my fastest laps around here and I couldn’t believe it when I saw P2 on my pit board.”
Aussie Josh Brookes set the third fastest time while Keith Farmer claimed his first front row start in his rookie season for the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team. Jon Kirkham was fifth fastest on the Buildbase BMW, marginally faster than the winner of the corresponding round of last year, Chris Walker aboard the Quattro Plant Kawasaki.
But there was no luck for Bathams Honda rider Michael Rutter who starts his 400th race from the fifth row of the grid having been dogged throughout qualifying by machine problems. Milwaukee Yamaha’s James Ellison was also left disappointed after he was unable to set a time in the final qualifying session with a technical issue after setting the pace in the earlier free practice today.
-- Tyco Suzuki Report
Josh Brookes put his Tyco Suzuki GSX-R1000 on the front row for tomorrow's Bank Holiday British Superbike Championship third round at Oulton Park in Cheshire after taking third place in qualifying today.
His team-mate PJ Jacobsen will start the opening 18-lap race from row three in 12th position. In the Supersport class, Taylor Mackenzie finished the 12-lap sprint race in 16th place on his Tyco Suzuki GSX-R600.
Josh Brookes: "Yeah I'm fairly happy with the qualifying. We were lacking a bit through free practice and struggling to get the bike to do what I wanted it to do. Strangely enough we've looked over settings we tried last year that didn't quite work, but with the move to Ohlins this year, and some other information we have looked over, they seem to be working for us this weekend. It now means we have a new bank of adjustments to try for tomorrow. It's interesting and maybe a bit frustrating at having to throw away three years of information and start again, but we are moving forward and will continue to do so tomorrow."
BSB rookie Jacobsen (19) lost the lion's share of Free Practice 3 with some mechanical adjustments that had to be implemented on his GSX-R1000 Superbike, and although a little frustrated at losing-out on making Qualifying 3, the New Yorker was satisfied with his progress.
PJ Jacobsen: "I really like the bike and it was all coming together for me in that last session but we just ran out of time. The boys did a great job to get me back out after some problems in free practice this morning, and although it held me back a bit, I know we can improve tomorrow from race-to-race and I'll still be looking for some strong top-10 finishes."
Taylor Mackenzie: "I suffered from brake fade early in the race and while I adjusted the lever lap-on-lap and the bike was fine in normal braking; if I tried to pass anyone, and needed that last squeeze of the lever to get by, it was coming back onto my fingers so I had to ride accordingly. I've discussed it with my crew and we will make adjustments for tomorrow's longer 16-lap race, but it has been a tough day."
Philip Neill - Team Manager: "It's been one of those slightly disjointed days with Josh having to work through some new ideas on set-up and PJ having some bad luck with frustrating mechanical problems, but that's all part and parcel of racing motorcycles and we were not alone. It's hard to complain when we have a front row with Josh and the third row is a strong enough starting point for PJ. Taylor had some brake problems but also seemed a little uptight today. He just needs to relax a little and let it flow tomorrow and the race will come to him."
-- Milwaukee Yamaha Report
The Milwaukee Yamaha team endured a tough qualifying session at Oulton Park today ahead of the third round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship with James Ellison starting tenth and Josh Waters in seventeenth on the grid for tomorrow’s opening race.
The team had high hopes heading into qualifying after Ellison had set the pace in the earlier free practice and was confident that he would be able to challenge for a front row start this afternoon; however with a technical issue that developed in the second qualifying session the team decided to be cautious and sit out the final qualifying phase. Ellison is now determined to fight back tomorrow from the third row of the grid. Waters meanwhile is hoping to make amends in the races as he starts from row five.
Ellison said: “Before this weekend I said I really needed two good races so that I can try and close the gap in the points and it was all going to plan before qualifying. I was up there in free practice and although Alex’s lap was incredible I knew we would have had the pace to challenge for the front row, we just never had the chance. We did some laps in Q2 and I was losing a bit of power and then we started another lap and the problem was still there, so we decided to play it safe as we were not sure what caused it and then push tomorrow. It might seem bold but we have come back from worse situations in the past and we will change some things so we can try and have a good fight in the races.”
Waters said: “I am obviously disappointed with qualifying because that isn’t where we want to be. We had moved forward over the weekend but it just didn’t come together when we needed it to. We made some changes for qualifying which we thought would be heaps better but it is always that fine balance, which today just didn’t pay off for us. We just need to sleep on it, regroup and then try and push in the races tomorrow.”
-- Images - Round One - Gallery A
-- Images - Round Two - Gallery A - Gallery B - Gallery C - Gallery D - Gallery E
1 - BYRNE AT BRANDS
RND 2 - BYRNE DOUBLES THRUXTON
- British Superbike Championship 2013 -
RND 2 - BYRNE DOUBLES THRUXTON
1 - BYRNE AT BRANDS
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