Leon Haslam secured his second pole position of the 2016 MCE British Superbike season today at Oulton Park, in a session dominated by the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team.
Haslam will be joined on the front-row by his teammate James Ellison, who had pole position himself until the final few minutes of the session.
Haslam pipped his teammate with a lap-time of 1:43.633 in the final seconds of Q3.
A delighted Haslam said: “Its been a really good weekend, and we’ve been pushing towards the front every session. Qualifying was certainly tough and we were struggling to get some heat into the tyre – we would finish a session feeling confident knowing where the grip is good or bad, but the next session it would all change.
“We made a small change ahead of the final session and we weren’t sure if it was going to work or not and with only an eight minute session we had to just make the most of it regardless. I was chipping away with each lap and my last lap was enough to secure pole.. so all round, it’s been a great day.”
Despite losing out to his teammate in the dying seconds of qualifying, Ellison was still feeling happy and full of confidence as he looked ahead to tomorrow’s races.
He said: “It was really tough out there, with the weather the circuit is as greasy as anything – the tyres held up really well though. I made a bit of a bad choice in the third session, and opted to reuse my tyre from the second session as all day a fresh wet has been taking a bit of time to come up to temperature.
“It worked initially and i was quickest straight away but then I went to push for another lap at the end and the tyre had just gone off slightly. I crossed the line with P1 on the board and i thought I’d done enough but then I pulled in at the end and my guys were all in second. At least it was still a JG Speedfit Kawasaki on pole, so full credit to Leon.”
The day didn’t go as smoothly for Haslam and Ellison’s teammate, Peter Hickman, who was unable to match his dry weather pace in the wet conditions. Hickman will start race one from 14th on the grid.
After qualifying Hickman said: “Yeah that wasn’t the best session results wise the but bike is still feeling good. I just couldn’t quite get my head in gear as wasn’t feeling 100% confident – the lack of track time from yesterday didn’t help.
“That said, the weekend as a whole has been pretty good and in the dry yesterday we were running strong pace, and if it wasn’t for the technical problem it would have been an easy top six. We’ve got a few things to try tomorrow in warm-up and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in tomorrow’s races.”