BSB Brands Hatch: Byrne Upsets Hill In Qualifying

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne will start the opening British Superbike race on the Brands Hatch GP circuit from pole position after edging out Tommy Hill in qualifying. The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider pipped the reigning champion by just 0.062s and admitted he had to get every last drop out of his ZX-10R to do so, something he'll have to repeat in Sunday's races.

“It has been a long time coming and now we have to convert it into race wins. We are having to ride really hard and cannot rest on anything. We need to keep working to maintain our race pace and will be trying one or two ideas in the morning warm-up session.”

Tommy Hill will line up in second with Michael Laverty and Josh Brookes completing the front row, reflecting the dominance that quartet has enjoyed recently. Hill, looking to extend his three race winning streak, is confident that he will be able to give the Kawasaki a run for its money tomorrow.

“It is always good to be on the front row and that is what you need, especially as it is the same four of us on the front row. We have started the weekend well but it is when the red mist comes down in the other garages you need to be ready and we need to keep making sure we move forwards too. I was a bit frustrated and I was overriding the bike; we have had some fuelling issues and again it felt different today but we made some mapping changes to try and pip Shakey for the pole position at the end of the session but fair play he did a good job. We are all pushing hard and the front row is still a good result. The Swan Yamaha is working well and now we need to do the same at Brands Hatch as we did at Oulton Park in the races tomorrow.”

Noriyuki Haga is well placed to consolidate his showdown place from fifth while Chris Walker will be keen to dislodge him as he starts sixth. The three WFR Hondas of James Westmoreland, Graeme Gowland and Alex Lowes will start line astern in seventh, eighth and ninth ahead of Michael Rutter who pipped the returning Stuart Easton for the final place in Q3. Ian Lowry, another man with showdown aspirations, has work to do in tomorrow’s opener from twelfth.