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Byrne claims home pole as Brookes crashes out

Saturday, July 19 2014

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne claimed his third pole start of the MCE British Superbike Championship at his home round at Brands Hatch as the triple champion pushed ahead of the Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki pairing. However it was a dramatic session for Josh Brookes who crashed twice.

Byrne admitted he wasn't satisfied with their performance in the opening qualifying sessions but he showed his determination for a home win by snatching the pole position from the grasp of the battling Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasakis of Chris Walker and James Ellison.

In the Q3 session Millsport Ducati's Jakub Smrz hit the top of the times first, however he was then displaced first by Ellison and then Walker as the leading contenders fought for the pole position. However a late charge from the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider moved him narrowly ahead of the 'Stalker'.

Smrz heads row two for tomorrow's opening race whilst Tommy Bridewell was the fastest of the Milwaukee Yamahas as he held fifth position. On the opposite side of the garage, Brookes crashed out in Q1 at Westfield, saving a high-side before laying the Milwaukee Yamaha down in the gravel. The team worked to make the repairs ready for Q2, but he was able to fire back onto the track before the conclusion of Q1. The Australian was fired up to make amends but then in the opening stages of Q3 lost the front end to crash at Sheene Curve - he will start from eighth on the grid.

Ryuichi Kiyonari was sixth fastest ahead of John Hopkins on the Tyco Suzuki with Richard Cooper and Dan Linfoot completing the top ten. 

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

  1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 1m:26.131s
  2. Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +0.058s
  3. James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +0.254s
  4. Jakub Smrz (Millsport Ducati) +0.373s
  5. Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.550s
  6. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) +0.597s
  7. John Hopkins (Tyco Suzuki) +0.644s
  8. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.734s
  9. Richard Cooper (Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki) +0.750s
  10. Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +0.768s