Byrne takes Snetterton pole

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Shane Byrne claimed his first pole position of the year on the Stobart Honda when he was the only rider to dip into the 1:04s in today’s qualifying session at Snetterton in the fourth round of the Bennett’s British Superbike championship.

After his best lap of 1:04.90 Byrne said: “We had a small problem with the number one bike so I jumped onto the spare one and everything went well. We’ve been on the podium a couple of times already this year, just about a second off the win so we’ve been thereabouts. Maybe this weekend we’re going to get some luck for a change and finally get a win or two.”

Byrne’s pole was the first for Paul Bird’s team since Sean Emmett set the fastest time in qualifying at Brands in 2004 on the Monstermob Ducati.

HM Plant Honda’s Jonathan Rea was two tenths slower than Byrne and Airwaves Ducati pair Gregorio Lavilla and Leon Haslam completed the front row, Haslam frustrated by a lack of front end feel from his 999 F06.

British champion Ryuichi Kiyonari was fifth quickest on the HM Plant Honda ahead of the ever-improving Tom Sykes on the second Stobart Honda and Tommy Hill.
Chris Walker completed the top eight finally pulling something resembling a good set-up out of the bag after struggling throughout the three free practice sessions with the Rizla Suzuki, but set his best time on a race tyre.

Cal Crutchlow had his second big crash of the weekend when he went down at the Bombhole after losing the front end.  He was unhurt but for the second day running, a Rizla Suzuki suffered extensive damage.

Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin