Haslam on pole for his British Superbike return


Haslam

The returning Leon Haslam will start the opening race of the 2016 MCE British Superbike season from pole position after an excellent qualifying performance.

The two-time series runner-up edged out Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran by +0.061s with his lap-time of 2:05.501.

They will be joined on the front-row by the impressive Christian Iddon on the Tyco BMW.

The second-row is headed by the four-time champion Shane Byrne on the Be Wiser Ducati, Luke Mossey who showed plenty of pace throughout the day and Michael Laverty on the second BMW machine.

The American duo of John Hopkins and James Rispoli round out the top eight. Rispoli showed plenty of potential on his BSB qualifying debut.

It was a disappointing day for James Ellison, who will start tomorrow’s first race down in 30th position. The JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider crashed midway through Q1 at Farm and could not get back out on track to complete a quicker lap.

Q1 also spelled the end of the day for the likes of Billy McConnell (19th), Martin Jessopp (20th), Shaun Winfield on the Anvil Hire Yamaha (24th) and Stuart Easton on the EPayMe Yamaha (28th).

Byrne ended Q1 on top after managing to get the better of Mossey late on.

In Q2 it was Mossey who once again went straight to the top the timing sheets and he managed to stay there with a 2:05.786 – ahead of Hallam and Byrne.

Some of the riders who failed to make it through the second session included Ryuichi Kiyonari (10th), Peter Hickman (16th) and series rookie Glenn Irwin (17th).

Q3 began with the news that Honda’s Dan Linfoot was out of contention with a mechanical issue. Due to the damp conditions the final session had the same rules as last year – instead of the new superpole regulations.

His Honda teammate, O’Halloran started the session well but the Australian was unable to match the speed of Haslam – who looked comfortable on his return.

Race one of the day is scheduled to get underway at 13.30, followed by Race Two later on in the day at 16:30.