Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) has claimed pole position for this weekend's opening round of the British Superbike Championship, with a lap of 45.655s around the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.
With cool, but dry, conditions at the Kent venue, Byrne had been strong throughout practice around the 1.2-mile circuit and this was borne out in qualifying as he got the better of Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) by 0.142s with James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) a further two tenths of a second behind in third.
To make it a thoroughly intriguing front row, Jon Kirkham made it four different manufacturers in the first four places as he put the Buildbase BMW in fourth.
Keith Farmer showed excellent form on the second Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki to claim fifth with Josh Brookes on the Tyco Suzuki in sixth, the Australian, like many others, struggling for feel in the front end due to the low track temperature.
Returning triple Champion Ryuichi Kiyonari took seventh with PJ Jacobsen, James Westmoreland and Dan Linfoot rounding out the top ten.
Riders to miss out on the top ten included the evergreen Chris Walker in 11th and the Bathams Honda pairing of last year's Showdown contender Tommy Bridewell in 13th and Michael Rutter, still recovering from a broken leg, in 17th.
Meanwhile, double Australian Superbike Champion Josh Waters could only manage 16th on the second Milwaukee Yamaha.