Shane Byrne broke his own lap record which had stood for seven years to take pole position for tomorrow’s opening British Superbike race at Knockhill. The reigning champion needed everything from his Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki ZX-10R to see off Josh Brookes who came within 0.010s of beating him in Q3.
After losing the overall championship lead to Alex Lowes at Oulton Park last time out, Byrne is keen to reassert his authority as well as bringing some cheer to his ill wife Petra.
“I’m really pleased with this, my first flying lap was good, but then Josh Brookes came through and I thought I just had to go for it. I had a few moments on the lap, but here we are. I wanted to get that pole position for my wife Petra who is unwell; hopefully that will give her something to smile about and thanks to everyone for sending her their best wishes.”
“Our race pace is good but we have a bit of work to do and a few little tweaks to make to perfect it for the race, but to come here and do this, ahead of teams who have tested here before, is good and we are in pretty good shape for the races.”
Fresh from his debut appearance at the Isle of Man TT, Brookes was a threat throughout having topped the times in final practice, as well as the opening knockout qualifying session, but the Australian was edged into second by Byrne. Brookes will start between ‘Shakey’ and series leader Alex Lowes though with the Samsung Honda rider on the outside of the front row in third.
With only three riders per row at the tight Knockhill circuit, Jon Kirkham heads row two ahead of the resurgent Ryuichi Kiyonari who gave hope that he could still stake a claim for a showdown spot, qualifying fifth. PJ Jacobsen starts alongside in sixth with James Westmoreland, Keith Farmer and Peter Hickman making up the third row.
Of the riders currently in possession of a showdown place, Chris Walker and James Ellison have the most work to do in race one, starting tenth and thirteenth respectively although Ellison’s Milwaukee Yamaha teammate Josh Waters fared even worse, missing the cut in Q1 on his first visit to Knockhill.
|2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship – Round 4: Knockhill|
|1||Shane Byrne||Kawasaki||Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki||48.333|
|2||Josh Brookes||Suzuki||Tyco Suzuki||48.343|
|3||Alex Lowes||Honda||Samsung Honda||48.649|
|4||Jon Kirkham||BMW||Buildbase BMW Motorrad||48.983|
|5||Ryuichi Kiyonari||Honda||Samsung Honda||48.986|
|6||PJ Jacobsen||Suzuki||Tyco Suzuki||49.068|
|7||James Westmoreland||BMW||Buildbase BMW Motorrad||49.171|
|8||Keith Farmer||Kawasaki||Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki||49.204|
|9||Peter Hickman||Honda||Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Honda||49.320|
|10||Chris Walker||Kawasaki||Quattro Plant Kawasaki||49.713|
|Eliminated in Q2|
|11||Tommy Bridewell||Honda||Bathams Honda||49.306|
|12||Dan Linfoot||Honda||Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Honda||49.380|
|13||James Ellison||Yamaha||Milwaukee Yamaha||49.423|
|14||Jakub Smrz||Honda||Padgetts Honda||49.479|
|15||Karl Harris||Kawasaki||PR Racing Kawasaki||49.548|
|16||Matteo Baiocco||Ducati||Rapido Sport Racing||49.549|
|17||Michael Rutter||Honda||Bathams Honda||49.608|
|18||Robbin Harms||Honda||Doodson Motorsport Honda||49.619|
|Eliminated in Q1|
|19||Josh Waters||Yamaha||Milwaukee Yamaha||49.955|
|20||Howie Mainwaring||Kawasaki||MH Kawasaki||50.024|
|21||Danny Buchan||Kawasaki||Quattro Plant Kawasaki||50.063|
|22||Lee Costello||Kawasaki||Halsall Racing Kawasaki||50.335|
|23||Aaron Zanotti||Suzuki||Aaron Zanotti Racing||50.918|
|24||Jenny Tinmouth||Honda||Two Wheel Racing||51.034|
|25||Michael Howarth||Kawasaki||MH Kawasaki||52.306|
|26||Martin Jessopp||BMW||Riders Motorcycles||No Time|