Shane Byrne couldn’t make it five pole starts out of six attempts this weekend at Mallory Park British Superbikes after being pushed down to third by Tom Sykes’ and Michael Laverty’s Suzukis.
Byrne, who heads the championship by 83 points from closest rival and team-mate Leon Camier, lead for most of the 50-minute session but had no response to the on form Suzuki pairing.
Byrne had pole taken away with seven minutes of the session remaining, and even though he got back out on with a new tyre could go no faster, pushing the bike and himself beyond the limit.
He said: “It was a difficult session this afternoon but I am pleased with the lap time that I achieved.
“The first Pirelli tyre I went out on was great and I wasn’t sure I could improve as I was maxed out the whole way round the circuit.
“I was on pole position when Laverty knocked me off the top spot so I went back out on my final tyre but I pushed too hard and I went straight on at the first corner.
“I pulled myself together again and managed to get one more flying lap in but it wasn’t to be.
“We’ll look at a few things tonight but I am confident we have a fantastic package for the race and that will carry us through to a good result.”
Team-mate Leon Camier didn’t have his best day either, qualifying down in eleventh, the last of the Ducati’s behind Byrne, Rutter and even John Laverty.
And with Leon Morris being ruled out with a broken collar bone in a Free Practice three crash today, the 21-year old winner from the last round was less than impressed with being the slowest Ducati.
He said: “I am gutted that I did not do better in qualifying today, I just couldn’t seem to find my rhythm; but I am pleased with my race pace.
Starting from the 3rd row isn’t ideal at any circuit and here it will be very tricky getting to the front so I must be realistic about my chances, I will be aiming for decent championship points rather than podium places.”