Shane Byrne broke his own Snetterton lap record on his way to pole position for tomorrow’s opening British Superbike race. The championship leader lapped half a second quicker than title rival Josh Brookes with the pair set for another intense duel tomorrow.
Byrne admitted he had taken a sensible approach to the final qualifying session and surprised even himself with the record breaking time that resulted from it.
“I’m really happy with that time. For me, the session was all about making sure that I was in the top three to take a front row start and I had a goal of the lap I wanted to set. But when I saw the time come up, I was really, really happy. We had made some changes to the bike and they really worked, but now we have two long races here and that is what it is all about.”
Brookes was also satisfied to secure a front row start and is looking to build on the second race at Oulton Park where he ended Byrne’s 100% winning start to the season.
“I have been working through different steps to make improvements during the weekend and the changes have been really positive today. We focused on the rear of the machine after the sessions yesterday and for qualifying the Milwaukee Yamaha was how I wanted it. I tested the SC0 tyre during qualifying and then for the last run I went for the SC1 tyre which is what I had been using previously. I am happy with the front row and we will see what we can do tomorrow.”
Jakub Smrz took a fine third for Millsport Ducati while Julien da Costa completed the international flavour at the front of the grid by qualifying fourth for Honda Racing on their first appearance of the season. Tommy Bridewell and James Ellison complete the second row with Patric Muff and Ryuichi Kiyonari next up, ensuring six different nationalities will be represented in the top ten tomorrow. John Hopkins almost made it seven but was knocked out in Q2 although that was quite a result for the American who only made it out of the first session by the skin of his teeth.