Shane Byrne continues his great start to the 2013 British Superbike Championship by claiming the first pole of the year in today’s qualifying session at Brands Hatch.
With the exception of yesterday’s cold morning practice that Byrne opted to sit out of, he’s lead every session so far this weekend on his Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki. Even so the defending champion is not resting on his laurels and feels that there is more work to be done to get some wins tomorrow come race time.
“It feels good to be on pole,” Byrne said. “It is important to get a front row start here at Brands Hatch and that is what we have done. We have been chasing a few things with the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki and finding the little bits we need to work on to be consistent. We are in good shape for the race and it is tomorrow’s races that count so we need to push for them. I think it is going to be really close; there is a lot of emphasis on me and Kiyo but there are plenty of guys who will be more than a pain in the backside this season, starting tomorrow. We are concentrating on what we need to do and hopefully it will be a good result in the races tomorrow.”
One of the guys who looks to be that pain for Byrne is sitting right next to him on the grid – Alex Lowes on the Samsung Honda.
“I really enjoyed the session and I think tomorrow’s race is going to be lots of fun,” said the determined Lowes. “I am looking forward to getting out for the races and hopefully we can have two good races and battle with Shakey.”
In third place was Milwaukee Yamaha rider James Ellison who is happy to be back in BSB and with his new team.
“I am enjoying the Milwaukee Yamaha and I have gelled with the bike straight away,” Ellison said. “It is nice to be at an event where you know you can be fighting at the front every weekend.”
Rounding out the front row of the grid was Jon Kirkham on the Buildbase BMW – despite limited testing over the winter is coming to grips with his new ride.
The second row is led by Byrne’s teammate Keith Farmer, who is followed by Josh Brookes on the Tyco Suzuki in sixth.
Ryuichi Kiyonari’s day two wasn’t as good as yesterday, but he improved one position from this morning’s free practice to get his Samsung Honda into seventh place.
BSB rookie PJ Jacobsen, however, had a much better qualifying result than the practice sessions, getting the New Yorker a second-row spot in eighth aboard the Tyco Suzuki.
James Westmoreland on the Buildbase BMW starts the third row in ninth and Dan Linfoot rounds out the top 10 on the Lloyds British GBmoto Honda.
Final Qualifying Results:
1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 45.655s
2. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) +0.142s
3. James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.315s
4. Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +0.410s
5. Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.437s
6. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.482s
7. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +0.506s
8. PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +0.678s
9. James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +1.049s
10. Dan Linfoot (Lloyds British GBmoto Honda) +1.060s