Qualifying took place in chilly conditions at Oulton Park for the second round of the 2019 British Superbike championship. It was the Ducati and BMW teams who showed their strength around the Cheshire circuit.
Overall, Josh Brookes took pole with a lap time of 1:34.0, which landed him a maiden pole position for his Ducati V4R team.
It only took a few minutes of the first qualifying session for drama to unfold. Luke Stapleford crashed out early on and was seen to be clutching his left wrist as he walked away.
Josh Brookes set the early pace by posting a 1:34.9 which put him ahead of Danny Buchan, and Smith BMW’s Peter Hickman. Meanwhile, Bulidbase Suzuki’s Bradley Ray was clearly struggling, only able to secure eighteenth after his initial runs.
Some of the championship’s big names were knocked out of the first qualifying session. This included Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawaksaki rider, Glenn Irwin who only managing to secure twenty-fourth place. At the same time, ex-World Superbike rider, Xavi Fores could only manage twenty-sixth with his Honda Racing Fireblade.
When speaking to Eurosport, Fores stated “It has been quite hard for me to find out what I need from the bike to be more competitive, especially on the bumps. We will work hard for tomorrow”.
As was the case in Qualifying 1, Josh Brookes set the pace. This time with a 1:34.7 which he set on his opening lap. Ryan Vickers had a big moment midway the session at Druids Bend. The rookie lost the rear end of the back mid-way through the corner. Fellow BSB rookie, Scott Redding, left it until the dying minutes to put himself out of danger zone. He managed to slot himself into third, just behind Danny Buchan.
Andrew Irwin’s struggles continued as he only managed to secure sixteenth. Likewise, Ray only managed to achieve fourteenth. However, the biggest name to be knocked out was joint championship leader Tarran Mackenzie as well as both OMG Racing Suzuki’s. This was the result of Vickers, who put in a last minute lap to finish Qualifying 2 seventh.
Tarran Mackenzie spoke to Eurosport and stated that “Frustrating is an understatement I’ve struggled a little bit all weekend, we made some big changes over night but it was wet in FP3 so didn’t know how it was going to react, I’m not the biggest rider so when the bike isn’t handling great it’s hard for me to hang on to it, my word to describe it is that it was a bit of a pig to ride but we will keep working over night”
Josh Brookes continued his strong weekend by taking pole position with a mighty lap of 1:34.0. This put him ahead of Tommy Bridewell who will start the race in second. Peter Hickman put the Smiths BMW’s new Suter made swing-arm to good use after he finished the day third. The only Yamaha remaining in Qualifying 3 was Jason O’Halloran, who was able to finish fourth. Be Wiser Ducati’s Scott Redding finished as the top rookie and will start in seventh.