Tommy Hill's sensational recent record at the Knockhill circuit continued as the Swan Yamaha rider took pole position in difficult Scottish weather conditions. Rain had fallen earlier in the day and the track was still partially wet when qualifying got underway but that didn't seem to bother the reigning champion who took pole from Michael Laverty and Josh Brookes.

“It was tricky for everyone and I did chicken out a bit in the second session when there were a few spots of rain and took it a bit steady. It is difficult to know how hard to push and Josh was pushing hard at the end so I knew I just had to bite the screen and go for it to get the lap in. It is always hard to judge but the others were pushing hard and with three to a row here it is important to be on the front row. I am happy but not overly confident that the conditions will stay consistent tomorrow but we will be trying to get the Swan Yamaha back on the podium.”

Hill came under threat from the in-form Laverty in the dying seconds of Q3 but the Samsung Honda rider slid off at the Scotsman corner, leaving him seven hundredths shy in second. The Ulsterman is still feeling confident for tomorrow's races though if he can cut out the errors.

“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.”

Championship leader Brookes blamed mistakes on his flying laps for finishing third while Shane Byrne put the sole Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki on the front row in fourth, teammate Stuart Easton being forced to miss his home round after picking up an infection around the dynamic hip fixator which has remained since his horrendous accident at the 2011 North West 200.

Ian Lowry heads the second row ahead of Noriyuki Haga who recovered from a highside in Q1 to claim sixth on the grid. Graeme Gowland will start race one from seventh ahead of Tommy Bridewell, James Westmoreland and Alastair Seeley who was the slowest man in Q3.

Chris Walker will take part in Sunday's races despite a heavy crash in Friday practice which was initially feared to have left him with two broken heels. Through gritted teeth, 'the Stalker', who lies two points and one place outside the showdown positions, qualified 17th.


2012 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship

Round 5: Knockhill (Qualifying Result)

Pos Rider Bike Team Time/Gap
1  Tommy Hill Yamaha Swan Yamaha 48.785
2  Michael Laverty Honda Samsung Honda +0.068
3  Josh Brookes Suzuki Tyco Suzuki +0.329
4  Shane Byrne Kawasaki Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki +0.375
5  Ian Lowry Honda Padgetts Racing +0.487
6  Noriyuki Haga Yamaha Swan Yamaha +0.727
7  Graeme Gowland Honda Team WFR +0.745
8  Tommy Bridewell BMW Supersonic Racing Team +0.768
9  James Westmoreland Honda Team WFR +0.906
10  Alastair Seeley Suzuki Tyco Suzuki +0.939
Eliminated In Q2
11  Alex Lowes Honda Team WFR 49.920
12  Michael Rutter Kawasaki MSS Bathams Kawasaki 49.970
13  Barry Burrell BMW Buildbase BMW Motorrad 49.974
14  Luca Scassa Honda Padgetts Racing 49.980
15  Jon Kirkham Honda Samsung Honda 50.016
16  Luke Quigley Honda GBmoto Racing 50.291
17  Chris Walker Kawasaki Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki 50.392
18  Patric Muff BMW Supersonic Racing Team 50.473
19  Tristan Palmer Honda GBmoto Racing 50.591
20  James Hillier Kawasaki Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki 50.985
Eliminated In Q1
21  Scott Smart Ducati Moto Rapido Racing 50.697
22  John Laverty Aprilia Splitlath Redmond Racing 50.798
23  Florian Marino Aprilia Splitlath Redmond Racing 50.804
24  Peter Hickman BMW Buildbase BMW Motorrad 50.911
25  Aaron Zanotti Suzuki A-Plant Suzuki 50.939
26  Freddy Foray Kawasaki Quattro Plant Kawasaki 50.973
27  Tom Tunstall Ducati Jentin Doodson Motorsport 52.045
28  Jenny Tinmouth Honda Hardinge Honda 52.872
29  Abdulaziz Binladin Ducati Moto Rapido Racing 53.344