Byrne Bags Knockhill Pole Despite Crash

by Louis Suddaby

Shane Byrne survived a late qualifying crash to take his second pole position in succession at Knockhill on Saturday. The defending champion led a PBM Kawasaki 1-2 with home favourite Stuart Easton following close behind his teammate while Josh Brookes rounds out the front row on his Milwaukee Yamaha.

At one stage, it looked unlikely that there would be any running whatsoever after torrential storms caused damage to the Knockhill track surface overnight. After rapid repairs, final practice eventually got underway at 1:40pm and qualifying kicked off shortly after 4pm.

After clocking a 48.153, Byrne enjoyed a two-tenth lead over Brookes but a tumble at Clark’s threatened to undo all his hard work with three minutes remaining. In the end, the points leader was fortunate he had such an advantage with Easton’s late improvement falling 0.052s short, leaving him in second.

Although the crash threw everything in doubt, Shane admitted he was happy with his lap time and knew he wouldn’t be too far from the front row.

“I’m a little bit surprised with the outcome of qualifying. We all know what we think is an achievable lap time, and I planned for the time I thought I could do in that last session. I pushed hard, but it seemed like I was sliding on every single corner exit on the last run. I did a time that was good enough for pole, and a couple more close to it – but I think the rear tyre maybe wasn’t as good. I thought ‘oh ok, I’ll run in a little hotter and be a bit more careful on the exit with the throttle,’ but trying that on my second lap I went into Clarkes like normal, released the brakes a little earlier to try and carry a bit more speed, and tucked the front tyre.”

“It’s frustrating for that to happen, but at the end of the day I’m happy with the result. It’s a PBM one-two, the times have been close; but I just thought we had maybe another two tenths or so there. I think for tomorrow we’ve worked really hard on race pace. Yesterday afternoon, my best lap time – that would have got us fairly high up today’s grid – came from the thirty third lap on the tyre. From that view, we should be cool – and with the times as close as they are, it should make for some pretty exciting racing!”

Brookes also closed to within a tenth of Byrne in third while Jason O’Halloran was a tenth further back in fourth, leaving him well placed to boost his showdown prospects. Ryuichi Kiyonari is among the riders needing a big weekend and responded with fifth, placing him on the second row, while former championship leader James Ellison lines up sixth, broken ribs and all.

Michael Laverty starts seventh ahead of Danny Buchan and Dan Linfoot, although Tyco BMW’s leading showdown contender Tommy Bridewell has work to do from twelfth.




167. Shane ByrneKawasakiPBM Kawasaki48.153Q3
25. Stuart EastonKawasakiPBM Kawasaki48.205Q3
325. Josh BrookesYamahaMilwaukee Yamaha48.219Q3
422. Jason O’HalloranHondaHonda Racing48.344Q3
523. Ryuichi KiyonariBMWBuildbase BMW Motorrad48.402Q3
677. James EllisonKawasakiJG Speedfit Kawasaki48.501Q3
77. Michael LavertyBMWTyco BMW Motorrad48.521Q3
883. Danny BuchanKawasakiBe Wiser Kawasaki48.629Q3
94. Dan LinfootHondaHonda Racing48.657Q3
1012. Luke MosseyKawasakiQuattro Plant Tec-care Kawasaki48.837Q3
1160. Peter HickmanBMWRAF Reserves BMW48.715Q2
1246. Tommy BridewellBMWTyco BMW Motorrad48.725Q2
136. James WestmorelandKawasakiJG Speedfit Kawasaki48.738Q2
1421. Josh WatersSuzukiBennetts Suzuki48.746Q2
1524. Christian IddonSuzukiBennetts Suzuki48.781Q2
1614. Lee JacksonBMWBuildbase BMW Motorrad48.795Q2
1747. Richard CooperKawasakiAnvil Hire TAG Racing Kawasaki48.833Q2
183. Billy McConnellBMWSmiths Racing BMW48.835Q2
1943. H. Mainwaring SmartKawasakiQuattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki49.023Q2
2019. Michael RutterKawasakiGearlink Kawasaki49.126Q2
2144. Jack KennedyKawasakiTeam WD40 Kawasaki49.108Q1
2299. Filip BacklundKawasakiAnvil Hire TAG Racing Kawasaki49.202Q1
232. Broc ParkesYamahaMilwaukee Yamaha49.208Q1
2468. Jed MetcherKawasakiPR Racing49.239Q1
2511. Taylor MackenzieKawasakiTeam WD40 Kawasaki49.261Q1
2653. Joe BurnsKawasakiJoe Burns Racing49.713Q1
278. Shaun WinfieldKawasakiAnvil Hire TAG Racing Kawasaki49.887Q1
2820. Jenny TinmouthHondaHonda Racing50.292Q1
2964. Aaron ZanottiYamahaA-Plant Yamaha50.336Q1
309. Chris WalkerKawasakiBe Wiser KawasakiQ1

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