PHOTO COURTESY OF BSB
Milwaukee Yamaha Josh Brookes stayed on top of the British Superbike class at Thruxton, lapping under the existing record to secure his second pole position of the season.
The Australian has built on his momentum from his double win at Brands Hatch and held off Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati’s John Hopkins by .212 of a second.
“I didn’t know that I would have that time in me after Q2 seeing John’s [Hopkins] lap was impressive,” Brookes said. “I put everything on the line and did a really good lap time, put my head down and tried to match it again and the first part of the lap was good, then in the final chicane I fell onto the side of the apex a little too aggressively and it interrupted my acceleration onto the straight and fortunately I improved and maintained the pole position.
“I am really happy for the Milwaukee Yamaha team as they have given me a bike to really push for it this weekend and I am confident to ride it how I want. It is good to see a bit of a change at the front having John back and Luke Mossey up into the frame and Cooper at the last round – I am sure the fans are going to enjoy it.”
On the flipside his championship rival Shane Byrne struggled in qualifying and will start on the sixth row in 16th position.
“Shakey [Byrne] is having a so-so weekend and we have had the perfect start – the pole position was the cherry on the top,” Brookes said. “I thought maybe he was playing a card and was saving it for qualifying but that wasn’t the case. We will see what happens tomorrow but I am feeling confident.”
PBM Kawasaki’s Byrne holds a slender five point lead in the standings ahead of Brookes, but struggled throughout practice and qualifying and now faces an uphill battle after his worst qualifying performance since 2011 at the Hampshire circuit.
British Superbike rookie Luke Mossey makes his debut on the front row of the grid on the Quattro Plant Tec-Care Kawasaki ahead of Honda Racing’s Dan Linfoot who leads the second row alongside James Ellison on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki and RAF Reserves BMW rider Peter Hickman.
In seventh was Bennetts Suzuki’s Christian Iddon ahead of Richard Cooper on the Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki. Rounding out the top nine in stage three of qualifying was Danny Buchan on the Be Wiser Kawasaki.
Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran crashed out of the second stage of qualifying at Noble, breaking his right femur in the crash.
Meanwhile in Supersport, Profile Racing Triumph’s Luke Stapleford took the race one win ahead of PacedayZ Tracksdays Yamaha’s Kyle Ryde. In third was American James Rispoli on the Team Traction Control Yamaha, who laid down a scorching new race record time of 1:16.247, setting his first international pole position for Sunday’s feature race.
“I can’t thank my team enough,” Rispoli said. We have been gaining momentum each race and our progress is showing we can run at the sharp end of the stick on a regular basis. We will do everything we can to continue this trend and gain valuable points. The race was a real scrap for second and I hope the fans really enjoyed the close fought battles and come back tomorrow for more.”
2015 British Superbike Championship
Thruxton Qualifying 3 Results:
1. Josh Brookes (Yamaha) 1:14.464
2. John Hopkins (Ducati) 1:14.676
3. Luke Mossy (Kawasaki) 1:14.899
4. Dan Linfoot (Honda) 1:14.981
5. James Ellison (Kawasaki) 1:15.098
6. Peter Hickman (BMW) 1:15.230
7. Christian Iddon (Suzuki) 1:15.290
8. Richard Cooper (Kawasaki) 1:15.392
9. Danny Buchan (Kawasaki) 1:15.582