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
|1||67||Shane Byrne||PBM Kawasaki||1.48.376|
|2||22||Jason O'Halloran||Honda Racing||1.49.469|
|3||4||Dan Linfoot||Honda Racing||1.49.716|
|4||25||Josh Brookes||Milwaukee Yamaha||1.49.876|
|5||46||Tommy Bridewell||Tyco BMW||1.50.111|
|6||7||Michael Laverty||Tyco BMW||1.50.253|
|7||5||Stuart Easton||PBM Kawasaki||1.51.475|
|8||12||Luke Mossey||Quattro Plant Kawasaki||1.51.585|
|9||21||Josh Waters||Bennetts Suzuki||1.51.830|
|10||77||James Ellison||JG Speedfit Kawasaki||No time set|
|11||14||Lee Jackson||Buildbase BMW||1.49.292|
|12||3||Billy McConnell||Smiths Racing BMW||1.49.339|
|13||47||Richard Cooper||Anvil Hire Tag Racing Kawasaki||1.49.461|
|14||24||Christian Iddon||Bennetts Suzuki||1.49.559|
|15||99||Filip Backlund||Anvil Hire Tag Racing Kawasaki||1.49.920|
|16||43||Howie Mainwaring-Smart||Quattro Plant Kawasaki||1.50.195|
|17||83||Danny Buchan||Be Wiser Kawasaki||1.52.496|
|18||23||Ryuichi Kiyonari||Buildbase BMW||1.54.194|
|19||2||Broc Parkes||Milwaukee Yamaha||No time set|
|20||96||Jakub Srmz||Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati||No time set|
|21||60||Peter Hickman||RAF Reserves BMW||1.49.384|
|22||9||Chris Walker||Be Wiser Kawasaki||1.49.394|
|23||6||James Westmoreland||JG Speedfit Kawasaki||1.49.416|
|24||40||Martin Jessopp||Riders Motorcycles BMw||1.49.798|
|25||44||Jack Kennedy||Team WD40 Kawasaki||1.49.806|
|26||11||Taylor Mackenzie||Team WD40 Kawasaki||1.49.870|
|27||28||Victor Cox||Gearlink Kawasaki||1.50.860|
|28||53||Joe Burns||Joe Burns Racing||1.51.048|
|29||86||Daniel Johnson||Morello Racing Kawasaki||1.51.485|
|30||68||Jed Metcher||PR Racing Kawasaki||1.51.502|