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Ellison under lap record to seal Brands Hatch pole position

Saturday, April 18 2015

James Ellison narrowly missed out at Donington Park, but in the Datatag Extreme Qualifying session at Brands Hatch the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider returned to the top of the times, dipping under the Indy circuit lap record to claim pole position by 0.257s ahead of Jakub Smrz and Ryuichi Kiyonari.

The intense Q3 session saw the position change at the top almost every lap in the final 10 minute battle for the pole start in a top ten that featured six different manufacturers and five different nationalities.

Broc Parkes had fought his way into the final session and the Milwaukee Yamaha rider was one of the first to post a flying lap, before he was pushed off the top by his team-mate Josh Brookes. The pair continued to push, but would be forced to settle for fourth and ninth for Brookes and Parkes respectively.

At the top Smrz had pushed under the lap record to move second, but it wasn't enough as Ellison set a further two flying laps which saw him topple the Czech rider. Ellison and the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team held off the opposition to claim the pole position from Smrz as Ryuichi Kiyonari moved to third for the Buildbase BMW team.

Ellison said: "I felt comfortable during qualifying and we have just been making steps forward. We have come through winter testing with a good programme and I feel I am a match now for the riders in front with the extra power we have this year. We always have a little bit in reserve and if I am honest I didn't think we would get pole position in qualifying as Kiyo has been really strong and I have watched his laps and he has done long consistent runs. We now need to make sure we can do the same and I will do my best in the two races tomorrow and enjoy it too."  

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne will start from the second row of the grid; the defending champion pushing for more but lining up in fifth place ahead of his team-mate Stuart Easton.

Honda Racing's Jason O'Halloran was seventh fastest as he moved ahead of Christian Iddon on the Bennetts Suzuki as the pair qualified for Q3 for the first time this season. The session also marked the first appearance for Jack Kennedy in Q3 as the Team WD-40 rider bounced back from a big crash this morning to secure tenth on the grid.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Datatag Qualifying:

  1. James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 45.310s
  2. Jakub Smrz (Lloyds British Ducati) +0.257s
  3. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) +0.277s
  4. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.336s
  5. Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) +0.366s
  6. Stuart Easton (PBM Kawasaki) +0.453s
  7. Jason O'Halloran (Honda Racing) +0.513s
  8. Christian Iddon (Bennetts Suzuki) +0.709s
  9. Broc Parkes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +1.020s
  10. Jack Kennedy (Team WD-40 Kawasaki) +1.056s