Kiyonari secures Silverstone pole

1 of 1

British Superbike Champion Ryuichi Kiyonari secured pole position for tomorrow’s third BSB round of the year at Silverstone with a 1:25.38 later in the session – inside his own lap record time of 1:25.51s established last year.

It’s Kiyo’s first BSB pole since Silverstone 2005 and the HM Plant Honda rider said: “I enjoy riding here. Bike is good. We have good race tyre set-up too so I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s races.”

Leon Haslam ignored the pain from his badly bruised left thigh and knee from yesterday’s crash to take second spot on the grid with a last gasp 1:25.40 on the Airwaves Ducati. He stalled his bike in pit lane and got out on the track very later in the session. He just sneaked across the line to start his qualifying run with 11s to go as the chequered flag was being readied.

Shane Byrne topped the leaderboard in the closing stages on the Stobart Honda but ended up third quickest with a 1:25.61. He was baulked on both his qualifying runs but still managed to secure an all-important front row slot and said he’s more than happy with his race set-up.

Jonathan Rea completed the front row qualifiers with a 1:25.68. He appeared to struggle on race tyres but reckoned he learned a lot from running two qualifiers in the session – enough to improve his race set-up for tomorrow.

Chris Walker missed out on the first row by 0.43s but was still happy with fifth spot on the grid. However he admitted there’s still work to do on the Rizla Suzuki chassis to run a competitive race pace.

Gregorio Lavilla (1:26.03), Leon Camier (1:26.13) and Cal Crutchlow (1:26.21) completed the second row.  Tommy Hill, one of the early pacesetters during the weekend, qualified 12th after a minor tumble at the chicane.

Other crashers in the session included: Dean Thomas early on at Luffield, plus Tristan Palmer at Priory and Marty Nutt at Maggots – the latter spill bringing out the red flag with 11 minutes remaining in the session.

Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin