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Rutter on pole at Brands

Published: 09 September 2003

Michael Rutter has taken pole position at Brands Hatch for round 11 of the British Superbike championship, relegating new champion Shane Byrne to third on the grid.

Rutter had a slow start to the day finishing the qualifying session with the ninth fastest time, 0.401 seconds behind leader Gary Mason on the Virgin Yamaha, a significant gap for a circuit that traditionally sees very close qualifying times.

But the Renegade Ducati rider upped his pace for the afternoon’s Superpole session, knocking 0.6 seconds off his earlier time to take the top spot with a 45.991 lap.

ETI Ducati rider Sean Emmett stole second place on the grid from newly crowned champion Shane Byrne on the Monstermob Ducati by just two hundredths of a second, leaving Rizla Suzuki’s John Reynolds to finish the front row of the grid with a time of 46.145.

Rutter’s team-mate Leon Haslam finished the Superpole session in fifth with the morning’s fastest riders, Hawk Kawasaki’s Glen Richards and Virgin Yamaha’s Gary Mason, qualifying in sixth and seventh respectively.

But no doubt the best performance of the day came from Tom Sykes who qualified for Sunday’s race in eighth position.

18-year-old Sykes, who normally rides in the Supersport championship, rode the Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 for the first time this weekend and proceeded to finish sixth in qualifying and put in a Superpole lap less than half a second down on Rutter.

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