Alex Lowes maintained his 100& pole position record in the British Superbike Championship showdown by upsetting Shane Byrne at his home circuit. The WFR Honda rider heads into this weekend’s deciding triple header at Brands Hatch with a 24 point deficit but a repeat of his qualifying dominance could see that gap shrink before tomorrow.
None of the title contenders slipped up in Q1 although Luca Scassa brought the red flags out after crashing at Stirlings. The Italian was unhurt and would even go on to make the cut when the session resumed while Karl Harris would do likewise despite a fall at Westfield.
The first championship challenger but the dust in Q2 with Tommy Bridewell unable to do better than thirteenth but considering his build-up to qualifying, that was still quite an achievement. The Supersonic BMW rider crashed at Stirlings on Friday afternoon, injuring his hand and keeping him in hospital until the early hours of this morning.
The five remaining contenders all eased through to Q3 but Lowes took charge of the session right from the start. On his first attempt, the youngster clocked a 1:26.205 which would’ve actually secured him pole position but two laps in the 1:26.0 range, within 0.005s of each other, gave him two tenths in hand over Byrne in second.
Help may also be at hand for Lowes in the form of teammate James Westmoreland who produced a stunning late lap to snatch third while Barry Burrell joined Westmoreland in achieving a season-best grid position, taking fourth for Buildbase BMW.
Michael Laverty will head the second row in fifth ahead of a sure-to-be-concerned Josh Brookes while Tommy Hill’s grip on the BSB crown was loosened even further when he finished the session down in seventh. After his early fall, Karl Harris took a sensational eighth with Peter Hickman and Stuart Easton completing the Q3 line-up.
2012 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship
Final Round: Brands Hatch (Qualifying Result)
|1||Alex Lowes •||Honda||Team WFR||1:26.020|
|2||Shane Byrne •||Kawasaki||Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki||+0.209|
|3||James Westmoreland||Honda||Team WFR||+0.265|
|4||Barry Burrell||BMW||Buildbase BMW Motorrad||+0.356|
|5||Michael Laverty •||Honda||Samsung Honda||+0.448|
|6||Josh Brookes •||Suzuki||Tyco Suzuki||+0.532|
|7||Tommy Hill •||Yamaha||Swan Yamaha||+0.638|
|8||Karl Harris||Kawasaki||Quattro Plant Kawasaki||+0.642|
|9||Peter Hickman||BMW||Buildbase BMW Motorrad||+0.714|
|10||Stuart Easton||Kawasaki||Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki||+1.131|
|Eliminated In Q2 (P10: 1:26.809)|
|11||Patric Muff||BMW||Supersonic Racing Team||1:26.834|
|12||Michael Rutter||Kawasaki||MSS Bathams Kawasaki||1:26.862|
|13||Tommy Bridewell •||BMW||Supersonic Racing Team||1:26.906|
|14||Jon Kirkham||Honda||Samsung Honda||1:27.148|
|15||Jakub Smrz||Aprilia||Splitlath Redmond Racing||1:27.259|
|16||Danny Buchan||Kawasaki||MSS Bathams Kawasaki||1:27.310|
|17||Mark Aitchison||Aprilia||Splitlath Redmond Racing||1:27.322|
|18||Chris Walker||Kawasaki||Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki||1:27.426|
|19||Noriyuki Haga||Yamaha||Swan Yamaha||1:27.570|
|20||Luca Scassa||Honda||Padgetts Racing||1:27.801|
|Eliminated In Q1 (P20: 1:27.707)|
|21||Jason O’Halloran||Honda||Padgetts Racing||1:27.753|
|22||Robbin Harms||Honda||Doodson Motorsport||1:27.771|
|23||Alex Polita||Ducati||Lloyds British/Ducati Coventry||1:28.106|
|24||John Laverty||Kawasaki||Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki||1:28.252|
|25||Alastair Seeley||Suzuki||Tyco Suzuki||1:28.259|
|26||Tristan Palmer||Honda||GBmoto Racing||1:28.439|
|27||Luke Quigley||Honda||GBmoto Racing||1:28.656|
|28||Tom Tunstall||Honda||Doodson Motorsport||1:28.954|
|29||Scott Smart||Ducati||Moto Rapido Racing||1:28.999|
|30||Nick Waters||Kawasaki||Quattro Plant Kawasaki||1:29.326|
|31||Abdulaziz Binladin||Ducati||Moto Rapido Racing||1:29.805|
|32||Jenny Tinmouth||Honda||Hardinge Sorrymate.com Honda||1:32.286|
|• Championship Contender|