Brands Hatch British Superbikes: Shane Byrne takes fifth pole of the season

Published: 11 October 2008

2008 British Superbike champion Shane Byrne took pole for the last British Superbike races of the season.
 
Byrne beat the two HM Plant Honda's of Leon Haslam and Cal Crutchlow into first, and was also the only rider in the 45s bracket with a time of 45.799.

In the first qualifying session in Swan Combi 50's- Roll for Pole, Leon Camier flew out of the blocks and straight to the top of the timesheets with his first flying lap, a 46.457.

Minutes later, Leon Haslam had just completed a lap which pushed him up to third, just behind Shane Byrne, when he looked over his shoulder at Clearways, only to be highsided by his HM Plant Honda Fireblade.

Haslam was able to rush back to the pits and take his second bike out and on his first flying lap shot to fifth position posting a lap time of 46.618.

With 17 minutes remaining in the session, STP Superbike's Chris Burns was black flagged after marshalls noticed smoke pouring from the back of his MV Augusta.

Cal Crutchlow went fastest with 10 minutes left on the clock, bettering Camier's time by 0.201s by posting a time of 46.256.

Eight minutes remained when Michael Rutter fell from his North West 200 Ducati at Druids.
 
Fortunately, Rutter had posted a time good enough to safely put him through to the second stage of qualifying.
 
Leon Haslam put his earlier accident behind him, and with five minutes remaining posted a 46.341, enough to put him in second position behind team-mate, Cal Crutchlow and just in front on Airwaves Ducati's Leon Camier.

The second qualifying session saw Shane Byrne hit the front of the field for the first time this weekend.
 
Byrne's time of 46.081 was 0.327 ahead of nearest rival and team-mate, Leon Camier.
 
Camier was run close by an in-form Michael Rutter, who, with 8 minutes to go, jumped from 18th on the grid up to 3rd with a time of 46.445.

Following Rutter to the line was HM Plant Honda's Leon Haslam, riding with an injured right shoulder from his crash in the first qualifying session, Haslam managed a best time of 46.485.

Haslam's HM Plant team-mate Cal Crutchlow was fifth fastest with a best time of 46.513, just ahead of Tom Sykes, James Ellison, Michael Laverty, John Kirkham and Simon Andrews.

Byrne again came out of the blocks firing on both cylinders in the third and final qualifying session, and nobody else was able to match him.

Leon Haslam had some problems with his right shoulder which was injured in the earlier crash, but still out-qualified team-mate Cal Crutchlow.

Crutchlow nonetheless, went quicker than rival for third place in the championship, Tom Sykes, who was marginally quicker than Hydrex Bike Animal Honda's James Ellison.

Rounding out the second row was Airwaves Ducati's Leon Camier, just ahead of Relentless Suzuki's Michael Laverty, North West 200 Ducati's Michael Rutter and Rob Mac Yamaha stand-in, John Kirkham.

Simon Andrews completed the session in 10th, 0.019s behind Kirkham, and just 0.780 behind pole sitter Byrne. 
 

1. Shane Byrne Airwaves Ducati 45.799
2. Leon Haslam HM Plant Honda 46.096
3. Cal Crutchlow HM Plant Honda 46.118
4. Tom Sykes Rizla Suzuki 46.201
5. James Ellison Hydrex Bike Animal Honda 46.255
6. Leon Camier Airwaves Ducati 46.303
7. Michael Laverty TAS Relentless Suzuki 46.513
8. Michael Rutter North West 200 Ducati 46.518
9. John Kirkham Rob Mac Racing Yamaha 46.560
10. Simon Andrews Lloyds British Jentin Yamaha 46.579
11. Billy McConnell MSS Discovery Kawasaki 46.682
12. Atsushi Watanabe Rizla Suzuki 46.842
13. John Laverty Buildbase North West 200 Ducati 46.853
14. Tristan Palmer Tena for Men Honda 47.857
15. David Johnson Team Maxxis Honda 47.936
16. Gary Mason Quay Garage Honda 47.951