Jake Dixon had a day to forget crashing out on lap one, in a bunched pack.
South Australia’s Levi Day finished the race in 18th place.
Leon Haslam takes Oulton Park BSB Pole – Jason O’Halloran on front row
Leon Haslam will start from pole position for tomorrow’s opening MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race at Oulton Park after snatching the pole position on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki, just ahead of his team-mate James Ellison.
In a dramatic Datatag Qualifying Haslam kept his cool in a hectic wet Superpole session; with five different riders holding the top spot during the eight minute battle for the pole position. Initially Alastair Seeley had set the first flying lap on the Royal Air Force BMW, but before long Christian Iddon pushed ahead to make the Tyco BMW the target at the top.
Ellison was relishing the wet conditions and he launched to a faster time in the final minutes, but it was short lived as Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran then carved his way to the top. Ellison was instantly on the counter attack and he returned to the top position with his next flying lap. Haslam wasn’t done with his last run though and in the final minute the Derbyshire rider stole the pole position.
Dan Linfoot will head the second row of the race one grid for the Honda Racing team after he climbed ahead of Iddon in the closing stages of the session, with the Tyco BMW pairing completing the second row with Michael Laverty.
Seeley will start from the third row ahead of Team WD-40 Kawasaki’s Jack Kennedy who had his best qualifying performance of the season so far in eighth with Lee Jackson completing the top nine.
“This weekend so far we have made progress in every session, and in the small amount of dry track time we have had, we’ve made improvements with the chatter we had at Silverstone. But our pace is good in the wet and in the dry. The conditions were difficult in qualifying and I had a little issue with our set-up, but it is no problem and we’ve fixed it for tomorrow. I feel good and I’m ready to race.”
Tommy Bridewell – P11
“It’s been ok so far this weekend. We’ve been quick in each session, wet or dry – which is good – and shows we’ve really made some progress with the bike. We were in the top-five in both FP2 and FP3 and I think we’ve got a really good race pace. Eleventh on the grid isn’t brilliant but it’s not a disaster and I’m confident that there’s plenty more to come, so it’ll be a case of getting my head down and giving it 100% when the lights go out tomorrow.”
It was a difficult session for Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne; the four-time champion will start 18th on the grid after a tough Q2; the Be Wiser Ducati rider had a moment through the gravel at Lodge at the mid-way point of the second stage before crashing out unhurt a lap later at Hizzys.
Shane Byrne – P18
“It was a difficult qualifying session to sum up! The bike was working fantastically well in the wet and I was feeling really confident but at the start of Q2, I was putting in a fast out lap when I locked the front going into Lodge and I nearly went down. I ran onto the gravel and thought luck was on our side so rejoined and tried to be easy on the front a bit. In the middle of Hizzy’s though, the bike came round on me and whilst you think you can save them, sometimes you know that’s not going to happen. I’m disappointed for the whole Be Wiser Ducati team after the problem with Glenn’s bike but we have a lot of positives to take particularly being fastest in Q1 and having a great feeling with the bike. We’ll see what tomorrow brings and hopefully our bad luck is behind us.”
It was also a tough session for the second Be Wiser Ducati; Glenn Irwin suffered a clutch problem on his first lap and was forced to miss the remainder of Datatag Qualifying; he will start on the back row of the grid.
Glenn Irwin – P29
“Having the technical problem so early in the session was really frustrating, naturally, as I’d been fast in the dry and fast in the wet so was confident of two top ten finishes on race day. Glenn IrwinEverything was working well but starting from the back row of the grid for race one will make that hard now so it will be damage limitation and I’ll be looking to set some good lap times to haul myself up the grid for race two. I came from 25th to 14th at Silverstone so I’ll need to be aggressive again tomorrow.”
Phil Borley, Be Wiser Ducati Technical Director
“Everything had been going well up until qualifying but then everything that could have gone wrong did so. We had the engine issue with Glenn’s bike which was obviously a real shame as he’d been going well, particularly in the wet, but on the flip side Shakey was quickest in Q1. We had a slight problem with his bike which delayed him going out, only by a couple of minutes, but perhaps it was enough to lose the heat in the tyres. He had a moment on his out lap and then lost the rear end on his flying lap so we’ve got our work cut out in race one tomorrow. On the plus side, when things have been going well, they’ve been going really well and although we’re still fine tuning the settings, we’re more than hopeful of scoring some good points.”
Danny Buchan was also left disappointed after Datatag Qualifying after he was ruled out on medical grounds for the remainder of the weekend after suffering concussion in a crash at Knickerbrook during Q1.
Billy McConnell qualified 16th as he continues to adapt to the FS3 Kawasaki.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Datatag Qualifying
Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 1m:43.633s
James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.452s
Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +0.520s
Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +0.553s
Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.637s
Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +0.870s
Alastair Seeley (Royal Air Force BMW) +0.926s
Jack Kennedy (Team WD-40 Kawasaki) +1.425s
Lee Jackson (Buildbase BMW) +1.599s
After a debut Pirelli National Superstock 1000 win at Silverstone, Taylor Mackenzie starts from pole at Oulton Park. With a drying but still damp track, many top protagonists including Mackenzie sat out today’s session, relying on their faster times from yesterday’s practice. Completing an all BMW front row for Monday’s races; Hudson Kennaugh and Ian Hutchinson.
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