Knockhill BSB: Brookes on pole despite engine failure
Josh Brookes grabbed pole position in today’s final qualifying session at Knockhill going into Sunday’s sixth round of the MCE British Superbike championship.
Brookes suffered an engine failure in Saturday morning’s free practice but with a fresh engine in place for qualifying he clocked a 48.486s lap to beat team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari to pole position by 0.15s.
“The best way to start any race is from first place on the grid though I am a bit surprised,” he said. “I was struggling at the end of free practice and then we had an engine problem but the team sorted it out and I was able to get pole.
“I’d done several good laps in qualifying but I had to wait until right near the end to put one really clean lap together.
Series leader Tommy Hill sits third on the grid by virtue of a 46.69s lap on the Worx Suzuki with Michael Rutter filling out the front row of the grid on the Riders Ducati.
The top ten riders in final qualifying were separated by just 0.67s, nine of them inside the 48s bracket.
Row two is led by Swan Honda’s James Ellison, though still far from recovered from the femur he broke at Thruxton, was able to clock a 48.8s and set himself up as a real threat for tomorrow’s races.
Dan Linfoot, Stuart Easton and Tommy Bridewell complete the second row while Alastair Seeley qualified ninth, after some fuelling issues in Q2, and Andrew Pitt completed the top ten in his first visit to the Scottish circuit.
The biggest casualty of qualifying was Michael Laverty who crashed out of the opening qualifying session. The Relentless Suzuki rider was on the pace all weekend but got pushed off line going into the first turn by another rider leaving the pit lane.
Laverty, in too tight into the corner, tucked the front and crashed heavily. He was unhurt and while his team worked like trojans to repair the damage, he missed the cut for qualifying two, which means starting from the fifth row in 20th spot on the grid.
Superbike top ten times qualifiers
Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) 48.486s
Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +0.150s
Tommy Hill (Quay Garage Honda) +0.212s
Michael Rutter (Ridersmotorcycles.com Ducati) +0.305s
James Ellison (Swan Honda) +0.314s
Dan Linfoot (Motorpoint Yamaha) +0.382s
Stuart Easton (Swan Honda) +0.388s
Tommy Bridewell (Quay Garage Honda) +0.427s
Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +0.473s
Andrew Pitt (Motorpoint Yamaha) +0.679s
Superbike lap record
Shane Byrne, Suzuki, 48.474secs, 94.41mph (2006)