Brookes on pole at Snetterton
Qualifying – top six:
1:Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 1m:48.490s
2:Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +0.001s
3:Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +0.034s
4:Graeme Gowland (WFR Honda) +0.292s
5:Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) +0.362s
6:Noriyuki Haga (Swan Yamaha) +0.412s
Josh Brookes powered to his second pole start of the season ahead of the fourth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Snetterton in one of the closest qualifying sessions in history as Michael Laverty closed in dramatically with a last lap dash to miss out by just 0.001 seconds.
Riding the Samsung Honda Laverty was aiming for his first pole start of the season but just missed out to his Tyco Suzuki rival and believes that this first front row start of the year will be the kick-starter needed to turn around his season and put him back on course for the title fight.
Hard-charging Brookes had the edge with his best lap around the 2.99-mile recently redeveloped Norfolk circuit with a time of 1m 48.490secs and said: “Most of the weekend I’ve been concentrating on getting the bike set for the races as in the heat as we need to manage the tyres but then I thought let’s see what we can do and I was a bit surprised by my time.
“I knew that I had done my best and could only watch Michael closing in on me so it was both relief and delight to have this pole,” added Brookes who is aiming to overturn the six points deficit he has on reigning champion Swan Yamaha’s Tommy Hill in the points standings.
There is little between them with Hill only 0.034s down on him but both will be aiming to fight off Laverty who is back to the form he showed in pre-season testing and the Ulsterman is delighted to be starting at the front of the pack.
“The first three rounds have been horrendous for me so it is a big relief to be on the front row for the first time this season. We have got the bike working well and it is great to be back at the sharp end of the times. The races though will be tough, hard on tyres, and we are all on a similar pace but we will see what we can do,” said Laverty.
Graeme Gowland completed the front row at the expense of his WFR Honda team-mate Alex Lowes who is joined on the second row by Swan Yamaha’s Noriyuki Haga and the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki duo of Shane Byrne and Stuart Easton. — Tyco Suzuki Report
Josh Brookes has posted his second Pole Position of the season in scorching conditions during qualifying for tomorrow’s two British Superbike races at Snetterton in Norfolk.
The Australian rider had spend the best part of free practice and qualifying devising a tyre life strategy and set-up with his Tyco Suzuki crew for Sunday’s two 16-lap races, but by his own admission, he decided to ‘have a go’ in the final minutes of Q3, taking the Pole slot by 1/1000th of a second.
His Tyco Suzuki team-mate Alastair Seeley narrowly missed out on Q3, eventually qualifying 15th for tomorrow’s opening 16-lap BSB race at 12.45pm.
Josh Brookes (Pole): “I’ve got myself acclimatised to the Northern Ireland weather so that was hot out there today! My focus was on getting the tyre to work and last the race-distance tomorrow. This is quite a tough circuit to get fast – and tricky to get right – but it’s also really rewarding when you do. I don’t like to count my chickens but I’d like to think we can win here tomorrow.”
Alastair Seeley (15th): “I’m still building my confidence after crashing at high speed yesterday and I struggled a bit in Q2 trying to get clear track to set a time. I know the pace is there as we topped the early timesheets, so it’s just a matter of getting a good start tomorrow and hanging in there.”
Philip Neill – Team Manager: “That was absolutely awesome from Josh Brookes. Big credit must go to his side of the garage for helping him pull that one off. It really did take me by surprise as we have been working on a race set-up for the hot conditions tomorrow. I wasn’t thinking about a low 48, but it just demonstrates Josh’s skill and the pedigree of the new GSX-R1000 package.
“Alastair was also on the pace with his P1 performance in the opening session before the crash. Fair play to the lad for a respectable performance today in Q1 and Q2 after going down at 140mph yesterday, and also to his side of the garage for rebuilding the bike from scratch overnight.”