Haslam continues impressive form to take Donington Pole


Leon Haslam put in another impressive performance at Donington Park to take pole position in the first round of the Showdown.

In a day where lap-records continued to be beaten it was the championship leader who managed to top the timing sheets with a 1:28.275.

Haslam took the lead of the championship last-time out at Oulton Park after taking victory in all three races at the Cheshire circuit.

He will start alongside main championship rival Shane Byrne and teammate James Ellison on the front-row of the grid in tomorrow’s opening race.

Luke Mossey heads the second-row, with his special Mick Grant inspired livery, ahead of Christian Iddon on the Tyco BMW and Dan Linfoot.

Tommy Bridewell will start from seventh on the grid ahead of Jason O’Halloran and Peter Hickman, both of whom had big moments on their Superpole laps.

A rather quiet Q1 ended with new championship leader, Haslam, at the top of the standings. Haslam ended the session +0.124s ahead of Linfoot, with Byrne next-up in third.

Riders who failed to make it through to Q2 included Filip Backlund, James Rispoli, Josh Wainwright and Shaun Winfield.

It was confirmed during the session that Ryuichi Kiyonari would not be taking no further part this weekend after struggling with a knee injury suffered on Friday.

It was a chaotic start to Q2 with Kuba Srmz and John Hopkins crashing out of the session within minutes of each other at Redgate.

Byrne led proceedings early on but was dethroned by Haslam, who posted another record-breaking lap-time of 1:28.326.

Joining Srmz and Hopkins in the drop zone was Lee Jackson (10th), whose Buildbase BMW suffered from a mechanical problem on his final lap.

Richard Cooper (11th), Michael Laverty (12th) and Glenn Irwin in 13th place also failed to make it through to Superpole.

O’Halloran was up first in the Superpole session as the thick black clouds loomed over the circuit. The 28-year-old managed to set a target time of 1:29.397 following a slight scare going down Craner Curves.

Hickman was next up but was soon put at a disadvantage after a huge moment coming out of Redgate. The JG Speedfit Kawasaki man was thrown out of seat following a slide. Hickman ended up just +0.003s behind O’Halloran however.

Linfoot was next on track and went fastest with a 1:29.019, only to be knocked-off top spot by Iddon moments later.

Bridewell slotted in behind Linfoot on his one lap, before Mossey went quickest with a 1:28.870 on his retro-looking Quattro Plant Kawasaki.

Ellison was next up though and he put in an impressive lap to go top of the standings with a 1:28.766. This left only the two main title contenders, Byrne and Haslam, to set their times.

Byrne set a blistering time of 1:28.370 for the ‘Pocket Rocket’ to try and beat.

It was extremely close throughout his lap Haslam and despite a slight issue at the Melbourne Loop, he was able to take pole with a 1:28.275.