Jonathan Rea claimed his third successive pole position and his fourth of the season at Oulton Park for Sunday’s eighth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship.
After wet practice plagued Friday’s two free practices, Saturday was dry and Jonathan Rea set pole with a best lap of 1:34.91 on the HM Plant Honda.
He said: “We were grasping at tyre choices early in the free practice but I’m certain Michelin have a good tyre come rain or shine tomorrow. I’m yet to have a good podium here at Oulton.”
Asked to explain his current run of form that has seen him win all of the last three races, Jonathan Rea said: “Like everyone else I got sick of hearing the Spanish and Japanese national anthems.”
Stobart Honda’s Tom Sykes was second quickest with a 1:35.27 set with his first qualifying tyre and could possibly have dipped into the 1:34s had he not been baulked during two attempts at getting a clear lap on his second qualifier.
Leon Hasam was third quickest with a 1:35.52 on the Airwaves Ducati and defending champion and series leader Ryiuichi Kiyonari’s best of 1:35.60 allowed him to complete the row.
Gregorio Lavilla, Karl Harris, Cal Crutchlow and Shane Byrne completed the second row. Harris, fast in the wet on Friday, was still struggling with a painful lower back after his crash at the recent British Superbike Croft test.
Shane Byrne crashed in both of today’s sessions. He got back to the pits after his tumble in qualifying and went straight out on his spare bike but that would only run on three cylinders.
He had to wait until the final nine minutes of the session for his battered number one bike to be rebuilt. He still managed to set his fastest lap on his very last lap of the session.
Rizla Suzuki’s Chris Walker was struggling on a qualifier and ended up 2.16secs off the pace in 11th, one spot ahead of Michael Rutter (Kawasaki).
He cut the cast off his injured left wrist to ride but was struggling with a lot of pain under heavy braking for the chicanes.
British Superbike qualifying practice:
1. Jonathan Rea GBR Honda 1:34.914
2. Tom Sykes GBR Honda 1:35.272
3. Leon Haslam GBR Ducati 1:35.529
4. Ryuichi Kiyonari JPN Honda 1:35.603
5. Gregorio Lavilla ESP Ducati 1:35.660
6. Karl Harris GBR Honda 1:36.058
7. Cal Crutchlow GBR Suzuki 1:36.202
8. Shane Byrne GBR Honda 1:36.386
9. Leon Camier GBR Honda 1:36.485
10. Tommy Hill GBR Yamaha 1:37.763
11. Chris Walker GBR Suzuki 1:37.076
12. Michael Rutter GBR Kawasaki 1:37.252
13. Scott Smart GBR Kawasaki 1:37.458
14. Simon Andrews GBR Yamaha 1:38.547
15. Tommy Bridewell GBR Suzuki 1:38.750
16. Ollie Bridewell GBR Suzuki 1:38.902
17. Chris Martin GBR Honda 1:39.975
18. James Buckingham GBR Honda 1:38.994
19. Tristan Palmer GBR Honda 1:39.099
20. Peter Hickman GBR Kawasaki 1:39.192
21. Marty Nutt GBR Yamaha 1:39.479
22. Aaron Zanotti GBR Yamaha 1:39.801
23. Tom Tunstall GBR Honda 1:39.967
24. Sean Emmett GBR Suzuki 1:40.206
25. Malcolm Ashley GBR Kawasaki 1:40.828
26. Paul Barron IRL Yamaha 1:40.828
27. Les Shand GBR Yamaha 1:41.986
28. Neil Faulkner GBR Yamaha 1:42.456