Hill claims Knockhill pole
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
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.”
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.
— Tyco Suzuki
Tyco Suzuki’s British Superbike Championship leader Josh Brookes will start tomorrow’s fifth round of the British Superbike Championship at Knockhill from third place on the grid after today’s qualifying sessions at the Scottish circuit.
The GSX-R1000 Suzuki rider posted a time of 49.114 seconds while team-mate Alastair Seeley made the final Superbike Q3 session to take 10th place with a lap time of 49.724.
Josh Brookes: “The first couple of laps of that final session were tricky over the kerbs as they were still wet. The surface was completely dry and I put in my fastest lap of the weekend so far, but riding over those kerbs made me a bit nervous. I’m happy to be on the front row here but also a bit frustrated that I kept making tiny mistakes, which stopped me from stringing a perfect lap together. In saying that, I’m not sure if I would have gone faster than the two men in front of me.
“In both the wet and dry I’m confident and we’re improving our set-up all the time and I’m getting good feedback from the bike where the grip is – so yeah we’re ready for tomorrow now.”