Leon Haslam sets fastest ever lap of Cadwell Park to claim pole position
Leon Haslam delivered an inch perfect lap to claim pole position in Datatag Qualifying for tomorrow’s opening MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race at Cadwell Park, lapping under his own existing lap record from 2007.
An intense qualifying session first saw Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon crash out unhurt in Q2 at Mansfield to end his run prematurely, which puts him 13th on the grid for race one. He wasn’t the only rider to slide out of the action as Dan Linfoot was narrowly holding ninth before a crash at the Mountain. The Honda Racing rider was luckily able to still make the cut for Q3 and the team rapidly made the changes to get him back out in the final session to qualify ninth.
Buildbase BMW’s Lee Jackson was the first to complete a flying lap, putting the Buildbase BMW at the top of the times, but just a few minutes later his team-mate Richard Cooper forged ahead.
Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne was on a charge, but the Be Wiser Ducati rider couldn’t quite better Cooper’s time initially and moved into second place. It wasn’t long before Haslam moved ahead, pushing Byrne back to third with Cooper still holding the top spot.
There was just 0.003s between Cooper and Haslam, but the ‘Pocket Rocket’ was on his final run and in the last minute he set the fastest ever lap of the Lincolnshire circuit to go to the top of the times. Byrne’s final lap put him second, just ahead of Cooper who completes the front row.
Jackson was pushed back onto row two in the final seconds ahead of Jason O’Halloran on the leading Honda Racing Fireblade and Luke Mossey on the Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki.
Tommy Bridewell’s last lap push saw him move up to seventh ahead of James Ellison and Linfoot, with the top nine covered by just 0.754s ahead of tomorrow’s opening race.
Billy McConnell qualified the FS-3 Kawasaki in 18th place while Josh Hook was 25th on the WD-40 Kawasaki as he experienced flying high at Cadwell Park for the first time.
Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
“That lap time I wouldn’t have thought would have been possible when we started free practice as we had a bit of a disastrous first day but we kept chipping away and focusing on race distance. The cooler conditions definitely threw a spanner in the works with tyre life but now it looks like it has come back into our hands. I was so happy when I saw the time as my times on my dash didn’t work that time so I saw 26.1s and then made a couple of mistakes, but the lap time didn’t show so I wasn’t sure where I was so to have pole is great and the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team have done an awesome job.”
Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
“Cadwell Park is a difficult track, it’s tricky and the most important thing here is to be on the front row. I’ve been changing the bike after each practice session to try and get a better balance and did so again just before Q3. My first lap was OK, the second one a bit better again but after dropping to P4, I regrouped and had one last push on the final lap. It got me onto the front row which is the most important thing. The team have done a great job again and I’m happy with where I’m starting for tomorrow’s first race.”
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Cadwell Park, Datatag Qualifying
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 1m:25.923s
- Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.236s
- Richard Cooper (Buildbase BMW) +0.239s
- Lee Jackson (Buildbase BMW) +0.286s
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +0.450s
- Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki) +0.459s
- Tommy Bridewell (Bennetts Suzuki) +0.494s
- James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.710s
- Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +0.754s
Ian Hutchinson and Tyco BMW have taken their first pole position of the year in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship, topping the qualifying session by just 0.007s. Keith Farmer will start from second whilst Championship leader Taylor Mackenzie completes the front row. Adam Jenkinson will head the second row, ahead of Alex Olsen and Josh Elliott.
Supersport Sprint Race
Lydd man Bradley Ray took his first win of the season in dominant fashion at Cadwell Park in the 12 lap sprint race, taking the win ahead of Gearlink Kawasaki’s Mason Law and Luke Jones.
Ray grabbed the holeshot from pole position and immediately pulled a gap on Law. It was a disaster for Andy Reid though who crashed out on the opening lap. Continuing to pull a gap at the front, Ray enjoyed a half second lead over the current Pirelli National Superstock 600 Champion Law after the opening few laps.
At half race distance, third place man James Westmoreland ran on at the chicane, dropping him back to fifth place which left Andy Irwin and Luke Jones to battle it out for the final rostrum place. Continuing to pull away at the front, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process, Ray was able to hold on and take his maiden win in the Dickies British Supersport class, ahead of Law with Jones eventually able to hold off Irwin for third.
It was damage limitation for Championship leader Tarran Mackenzie, who crossed the line in ninth place behind Benjamin Currie.
Dickies British Supersport Championship, Cadwell Park, sprint race
1. Bradley Ray (FAB-Racing Yamaha)
2. Mason Law (Gearlink Kawasaki) + 2.256s
3. Luke Jones (Acumen Industrial Services Triumph) + 7.779
4. Andrew Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) + 7.851
5. James Westmoreland (CAME BPT Yamaha) + 11.559
Dickies British Supersport Championship standings after Cadwell Park sprint race
1. Tarran McKenzie (Stauff Connect Academy Kawasaki) 211
2. James Westmoreland (CAME BPT Yamaha) 209
3. Andy Reid (Quattro Plant Cool Kawasaki) 180
4. Luke Jones (Acumen Industrial Services Triumph) 156
5. Bradley Ray (FAB-Racing Yamaha) 139