Michael Laverty is hopeful he can challenge for his first win of 2011 after qualifying on the front row for tomorrow's first British Superbike race at Croft.

The Swan Yamaha rider was second fastest in Saturday practice and replicated that in a rain-affected qualifying session, with Shane 'Shakey' Byrne taking pole position.

Despite his strong grid position, the Northern Irishman was unhappy with second, particularly after dominating the two knockout sessions.

“I am disappointed that we aren't on pole position after topping the first two qualifying sessions this afternoon. I went out for my lap and as I got to the back part of the circuit there was a sprinkle of rain and I backed off and wasn't committed enough to push for the pole time, so fair play to Shakey.”

“That said I am not too disappointed as I know we have the pace, both over a qualifying lap and also race distance. I am pretty confident that no matter what the conditions tomorrow we can get a good feeling on the Swan Yamaha and challenge for the wins and podium finishes.”

Tommy Hill qualified eighth as he made his return from the shoulder injury that prevented him from taking part in either race at Oulton Park, and the Lingfield rider admitted that he was still suffering the after-effects of that crash two weeks ago.

“This morning was painful but as the day went on and the adrenaline kicked in it got better. I thought that we would have the pace for a front row start, but I needed to see how things turned out. I kept some in reserve after the first two sessions and then in the final session nobody really knew how hard to push.”

Despite the obvious discomfort, Hill felt he could have got onto the front row, but couldn't find a clear track. The 26 year old goes into the race in the crucial top six places in the championship and is hoping to strengthen his position on Sunday.

“I got held up on my better lap which was disappointing for me and then it rained, so a second row start was all I could do. Other than that I know what we are capable of and tomorrow we know we have the pace, it is just damage limitation for me with the injury so I want two good finishes for the points.”