Jakub Smrz made history by claiming the first ever pole position in British Superbikes for the Ducati Panigale at Thruxton. The Czech rider edged out the Milwaukee Yamaha of Josh Brookes to give the Millsport squad their first BSB pole, and the first on any model of Ducati since August 2010.
Smrz set the all-important pole time with his very first lap of Q3, eventually pipping Brookes by a tenth of a second, and later described the significance of today’s achievement.
“This is a really great feeling. Before the start of qualifying I had joked with the team that I could become the first to win a watch as the pole starter in both the World and British series! This is important for us as we improve every round, the bike is getting better in every session and we are working hard. I enjoying the bike and finally we are getting something back, now I hope for the same in the races!”
Brookes wasn’t too disappointed to miss out on pole and is confident he has the package to challenge for victory tomorrow as he looks to amass crucial podium credits ahead of the end-of-season showdown.
“The Milwaukee Yamaha is working well here, we have made improvements over the weekend to get the compromise we needed and the combination has given me the feeling and drive that we had been looking for. We were fast in the wet and then this afternoon we were there in the dry in qualifying. I have done a lot of laps on the race tyre and we needed to get more laps on that as what I need to do to beat Shakey in the Championship is to win races. I am focused on that and I am happy with today.”
After showing promising pace in Q2 only to fade in Q3 at Brands Hatch two weeks ago, Dan Linfoot ensured lightning wouldn’t strike twice by securing a superb third on the grid for the Bournemouth-based Quattro Plant Kawasaki team. The Knaresborough rider will line up ahead of championship leader Shane Byrne who qualified fourth, his lowest grid position since the season opener at Brands Hatch.
Michael Rutter starts a race one in a fine fifth ahead of Friday pacesetter Tommy Bridewell while John Hopkins heads row three, joined by Peter Hickman and Chris Walker on the sole GBmoto Kawasaki. Jon Kirkham took the last place in Q3 meaning there was no room in the top ten for the in-form Ryuichi Kiyonari whose Q2 exit was the shock of the afternoon.
|2014 MCE INSURANCE BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP – ROUND 6: THRUXTON|
|DATATAG EXTREME QUALIFYING CLASSIFICATION|
|1||96. JAKUB SMRZ||DUCATI||MILLSPORT DUCATI||1:15.281||Q3|
|2||3. JOSH BROOKES||YAMAHA||MILWAUKEE YAMAHA||1:15.397||Q3|
|3||4. DAN LINFOOT||KAWASAKI||QUATTRO PLANT KAWASAKI||1:15.623||Q3|
|4||67. SHANE BYRNE||KAWASAKI||RAPID SOLICITORS KAWASAKI||1:15.626||Q3|
|5||11. MICHAEL RUTTER||BMW||BATHAMS PRIZE WINNING ALES||1:15.656||Q3|
|6||46. TOMMY BRIDEWELL||YAMAHA||MILWAUKEE YAMAHA||1:15.943||Q3|
|7||21. JOHN HOPKINS||SUZUKI||TYCO SUZUKI||1:15.969||Q3|
|8||60. PETER HICKMAN||HONDA||RAF RESERVES HONDA||1:16.024||Q3|
|9||9. CHRIS WALKER||KAWASAKI||LLOYDS BRITISH GBMOTO KAWASAKI||1:16.071||Q3|
|10||10. JON KIRKHAM||KAWASAKI||HALSALL BIKE GEAR||1:16.770||Q3|
|11||23. RYUICHI KIYONARI||BMW||BUILDBASE BMW MOTORRAD||1:16.181||Q2|
|12||47. RICHARD COOPER||KAWASAKI||ANVIL HIRE TAG RACING||1:16.248||Q2|
|13||14. LEE JACKSON||BMW||BUILDBASE BMW MOTORRAD||1:16.354||Q2|
|14||303. KEITH FARMER||KAWASAKI||PR RACING KAWASAKI||1:16.480||Q2|
|15||24. PATRIC MUFF||BMW||BATHAMS PRIZE WINNING ALES||1:16.480||Q2|
|16||12. JOSH WATERS||SUZUKI||TYCO SUZUKI||1:16.642||Q2|
|17||7. BARRY BURRELL||KAWASAKI||TEAM WD40||1:16.823||Q2|
|18||40. MARTIN JESSOPP||BMW||RIDERSMOTORCYCLES.COM BMW||1:16.905||Q2|
|19||5. STUART EASTON||KAWASAKI||RAPID SOLICITORS KAWASAKI||1:17.208||Q2|
|20||8. IAN HUTCHINSON||YAMAHA||FFX YAMAHA||1:17.810||Q2|
|21||43. HOWIE MAINWARING||KAWASAKI||QUATTRO PLANT KAWASAKI||1:17.448||Q1|
|22||64. AARON ZANOTTI||SUZUKI||GGH/STEL SUZUKI||1:17.551||Q1|
|23||56. JOHN INGRAM||KAWASAKI||MORELLO RACING||1:17.752||Q1|
|24||15. BEN WILSON||KAWASAKI||GEARLINK KAWASAKI||1:17.926||Q1|
|25||20. JENNY TINMOUTH||HONDA||TWR||1:18.612||Q1|
|26||33. SHAUN WINFIELD||KAWASAKI||ANVIL HIRE TAG RACING||1:18.691||Q1|
|27||123. C. PONSSON||BIMOTA||ALSTARE JUNIOR TEAM||1:19.035||Q1|
|28||45. RHALF LO TURCO||KAWASAKI||SBKCITY KAWASAKI||1:19.984||Q1|