Ellison claims pole position in wet conditions


Photo: Yamaha Motor UK

James Ellison took pole position ahead of race one tomorrow at The Cathedral of Speed, from Leon Haslam and Christian Iddon. The Showdown contenders weren’t having much luck in the tricky conditions, and it was only Haslam who managed to qualify inside the top ten.

Peter Hickman exited Q1 as quick as it began, as he crashed out unhurt in the opening minutes. He was able to rejoin the session, but couldn’t do enough to take him into Q2, and will start the race tomorrow from nineteenth place.

Shane Byrne has a lot of work to do if he wants to stop Haslam running away with the Championship. The reigning British Superbike champion slid out unhurt in Q2 and was able to get back into the pits to get his out of shape Panigale fixed. He returned to the track before the session ended, but another crash ended his hopes of progressing to the final qualifying session. He will start the race from sixteenth on the grid, just behind fellow Showdown contender Jason O’Halloran, who will start from fifteenth.

Both Josh Brookes and Jake Dixon narrowly missed out on Q3, and will start from eleventh and twelfth respectively.

In the closing moments of the final qualifying session, pole position constantly changed. Rising star Bradley Ray briefly sat on provisional pole, before being pipped by Haslam, Iddon, Ellison and Dan Linfoot.

Michael Laverty put in a good run in the final session, but was stripped of his lap times after failing to return to pit lane following a crash.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Assen, Datatag Qualifying:

  1. James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) 1m:54.027s
  2. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.082s
  3. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.161s
  4. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +0.671s
  5. Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +1.213s
  6. John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +1.344s
  7. Josh Elliot (Tyco BMW) +1.916s
  8. Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki) +2.412s
  9. Michael Laverty (McAMS Yamaha)