Josh Brookes set the fastest ever lap of Silverstone on a superbike to claim pole position for tomorrow’s opening British Superbike race. The in-form championship leader shows no sign of letting his advantage slip, especially with two non-showdown riders joining him on the front row in the shape of John Hopkins and Christian Iddon.
Brookes later revealed that he had adopted a different strategy to normal in the pole position shootout but was pleased with the final outcome.
“I kind of changed my character a bit during qualifying as normally I will do two, three or four laps and ride to the chequered flag, but in Q2 I did a really nice lap and I felt there wasn’t a lot more I could achieve and I thought that it would be enough to get into the final qualifying. I wanted to leave that good thought in my head going into the last run. I saw ‘03.9 on the dash and I thought to myself could I go for another lap? Which was my normal strategy, and I thought if someone could beat that lap then they deserve it because I laid everything fairly well on the line on that lap. I didn’t really believe I could make a better lap without another fresh pair of tyres so I just pulled off and rode it into the pits.”
Despite comfortably topping the two knockout sessions, Brookes upped his game in Q3 to see off the surprise challenge of Hopkins and the Australian admitted he wasn’t expecting the Moto Rapido Ducati to push him so close.
“The team have done a really good job with the bike to give me that confidence and I looked at my pit board and saw a 0.2 and I thought who the hell is that close to me, as I was expecting to see a bigger gap, and it was Hopper. He was the previous track record holder – and it shows he’s feeling good on his bike. I am looking forward to the races tomorrow and this has given us more confidence.”
Iddon secured the final place on the front row by the narrowest of margins, beating James Ellison by two thousandths of a second, while Luke Mossey edged out the second Milwaukee Yamaha of Jakub Smrz to qualify fifth.
Peter Hickman heads the third row ahead of Michael Laverty and Dan Linfoot but Shane Byrne is the championship challenger with most to do tomorrow after a set-up change for Q3 failed to bring the desired effect.
2015 MCE INSURANCE BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND 11 – SILVERSTONE: QUALIFYING
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