Shane Byrne takes pole position in tricky Snetterton conditions

Shane Byrne put in a strong performance today at Snetterton as he overcame the tricky weather conditions to put his PBM Kawasaki on pole position.

Changing weather conditions had played havoc throughout the afternoon but in the end it was the reigning champion who topped the timing sheets with a 1:48.376.

Byrne will be joined on the front row by the Honda Racing duo of Jason O’Halloran and Dan Linfoot, both of whom looked strong in the damp conditions.

Josh Brookes will start from fourth position after making a mistake in the final few seconds of the session and will be joined by Tommy Bridewell and Michael Laverty on their Tyco BMW machines.

It was an unlucky day for James Ellison and Jakub Srmz, with both riders suffering from huge crashes and failing to post a lap-time in Q3 and Q2 respectively.

It was Byrne who topped the timing sheets in Q1, with his lap-time of 1:48.003 enough to beat Brookes by 0.123s.

There was plenty of drama in the opening part of qualifying, with the returning Linfoot going off the track as he tried to get back into the mix following his broken wrist.

Srmz suffered from a huge incident going through Brundle when Victor Cox, who seemed to be going at high speed, collided into the Ducati rider and sent the Czech off the circuit. Srmz looked to be in some discomfort as he made his way back into the pit lane.

Some big names failed to make the cut at the end of Q1, with the likes of Peter Hickman (21st), James Westmoreland (23rd) and the Team WD40 Kawasaki duo of Jack Kennedy (25th) and Taylor Mackenzie (26th) all unable to make it through to Q2.

All the remaining riders were keen to get back out onto the track for Q2 after the session was delayed due to a few spots of rain over the circuit.

Ellison initially set the fastest lap-time but then suffered a huge crash going through the first corner as the rain began to fall once more. A few other riders followed him off the track and onto the grass as they were all caught out by the change in weather conditions.

No riders were able to get back out onto the track, meaning that the tricky conditions had cost the likes of Christian Iddon (14th), Danny Buchan (17th), Ryuichi Kiyonari (18th) and Broc Parkes (19th) any chance of progressing into the top 10 shootout.

Following a 10 minute practice session, to allow riders to adapt to the track conditions, O’Halloran was the first to risk putting in a quick lap and managed to stay on his bike to set a bench marker of 1:52.352.

As the track continued to dry-out, Byrne started to show exactly why he is the reigning champion and start to break into the 1:49s as the session neared its end.

Brookes was visibly trying hard to make it up onto the front-row but ended up making a mistake on his final lap and went off the track and lost any chance he had of gaining pole position.

As the chequered flag came out there was still time for Byrne to go even quicker as he put in his 1:48.376, showing all of his championship rivals that he means business this weekend.

Snetterton Qualifying Times

167Shane ByrnePBM Kawasaki1.48.376
222Jason O'HalloranHonda Racing1.49.469
34Dan LinfootHonda Racing1.49.716
425Josh BrookesMilwaukee Yamaha1.49.876
546Tommy BridewellTyco BMW1.50.111
67Michael LavertyTyco BMW1.50.253
75Stuart EastonPBM Kawasaki1.51.475
812Luke MosseyQuattro Plant Kawasaki1.51.585
921Josh WatersBennetts Suzuki1.51.830
1077James EllisonJG Speedfit KawasakiNo time set
1114Lee Jackson Buildbase BMW1.49.292
123Billy McConnell Smiths Racing BMW1.49.339
1347Richard CooperAnvil Hire Tag Racing Kawasaki1.49.461
1424Christian IddonBennetts Suzuki1.49.559
1599Filip Backlund Anvil Hire Tag Racing Kawasaki1.49.920
1643Howie Mainwaring-SmartQuattro Plant Kawasaki1.50.195
1783Danny BuchanBe Wiser Kawasaki 1.52.496
1823Ryuichi KiyonariBuildbase BMW1.54.194
192Broc ParkesMilwaukee YamahaNo time set
2096Jakub SrmzLloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati No time set
2160Peter HickmanRAF Reserves BMW1.49.384
229Chris WalkerBe Wiser Kawasaki 1.49.394
236James WestmorelandJG Speedfit Kawasaki1.49.416
2440Martin JessoppRiders Motorcycles BMw1.49.798
2544Jack Kennedy Team WD40 Kawasaki1.49.806
2611Taylor Mackenzie Team WD40 Kawasaki1.49.870
2728Victor CoxGearlink Kawasaki1.50.860
2853Joe BurnsJoe Burns Racing1.51.048
2986Daniel JohnsonMorello Racing Kawasaki1.51.485
3068Jed MetcherPR Racing Kawasaki 1.51.502