The British Superbike grid rolled into Oulton Park for the first round of the Showdown, where the top six are battling it out for the title.
Josh Brookes was the first rider to set the fastest lap in Q1, but the top spot was quickly taken over by Jake Dixon. After his podium last time out at Silverstone, Michael Laverty really struggled to improve his time as he sat in the drop zone. Fortunately he managed to stay in eighteenth and scrape his way into Q2.
Out after Q1: Jakub Smrz, James Westmoreland, Shaun Winfield, Aaron Zanotti, Dean Harrison.
In Q2, Leon Haslam was the first to get out and set a fast time, but Shane Byrne – who has struggled at Oulton Park since they arrived, swooped in to take over. In the final five minutes, Brookes sat on the edge of the top nine, but he managed to pull out a lap that saw him shoot up to fourth.
Lee Jackson crashed out unhurt in the opening minutes, but the session was red flagged with just over three minutes to go, when Jason O’Halloran took a tumble at turn one. He was okay, but the air fence had to be quickly repaired before the session could continue. Action resumed with exactly three minutes and nineteen seconds to go, but O’Halloran was unable to rejoin as he was sent to the medical centre for checks.
Out after Q2: James Ellison, Bradley Ray, Jason O’Halloran, Glenn Irwin, Martin Jessopp, Luke Mossey, Sylvain Guintoli, Michael Laverty, Lee Jackson.
Dan Linfoot took the top spot in the early stages of Q3, but Dixon quickly shot to the top to become the first rider 1:34. Byrne will start from second on the grid tomorrow, and Brookes will round out the front row.
MCE British Superbike, Datatag Qualifying:
- Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) 1m:33.959s
- Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.124s
- Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +0.150s
- Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +0.158s
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.195s
- John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +0.363s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.413s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.691s
- Tommy Bridewell (Team WD-40 Kawasaki) +0.881s