Redding produces sensational lap to take Pole at Brands Hatch

by Robert Jones

BeWiser Ducati locked out the front two positions in qualifying, with championship leader Scott Redding edging out teammate Josh Brookes for his maiden pole position by seven thousandths of a second. 

Redding and Brookes have been on top form throughout the weekend so far, but with Redding’s stunning triple win performance at Donington Park, Brookes will be eager to halt his younger teammates momentum at a circuit where the Australian has been stellar in previous years.

The shootout for pole started with high drama, as McAMS Yamaha rider Tarran Mackenzie lost the front end going into Clark curve on his first flying lap.

The session was immediately red flagged, as marshals and doctors attended to the former 2016 British Supersport champion.

The session restarted with five minutes on the clock, and the riders wasted no time heading out for another set of flying laps, with Christian Iddon the sole rider able to improve his time finishing the session in sixth place.

Rounding out the front row, and the only rider within half a second of the Ducati pair, was Mackenzie’s teammate Jason O’Halloran, who will lineup ahead Tommy Bridewell and Dan Linfoot.

Image Credit: Impact Images

O’Halloran has been extremely unfortunate so far this season due to mechanical failure and contact caused by others. The veteran Australian rider is considered a title favorite by many, and it will be important for O’Halloran to make up for his slow start to the championship sooner rather than later.

At the head of row three, is current road racing star Peter Hickman. The four time Isle of Man TT winner has been competitive throughout the weekend on the Smiths Racing BMW bike, and will be confident of producing a positive result. 

There was a welcome sight in qualifying today, with the Buildbase Suzuki of Bradley Ray back in the top nine shootout for the first time in 2019. Ray has looked a lot more comfortable this weekend and is close to the top form he showed so often last year. 

Ray produced last ditch efforts in both Qualifying 1 and 2, eventually propelling himself up the leaderboard. The supremely talented Brit will start from eighth in race one, ahead of what could be a much needed confidence boosting weekend.  

The biggest surprise of the day was the early exit of Xavi Fores in qualifying 1, meaning the Spanish rider will lineup a disappointing nineteenth on the grid. 

Fores achieved his best result last time out at Donington Park, with a double podium finish, but the bumpy nature of Brands Hatch has so far proved to be a difficult one for the Honda Racing team rider. 

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