Brands Hatch BSB: Brookes on pole after crash fest session
Josh Brookes will start tomorrow’s opening MCE British Superbike race from pole position, after a controversial qualifying session in tricky conditions that saw the entire front row fall, along with a lot of other riders further down the grid.
Brookes crashed not once but three times, falling twice in the opening Q1 but managing to scrape through to Q2 and Q3, before a late lap left him with pole position, before falling again at the end of the short session.
Ryuichi Kiyonari was second, leading for most of the qualifying groups before tumbling at the half way point in Q3, meaning the Japanese rider was unable to respond to Brookes.
However, he was able to stay clear of John Hopkins in third, with the American marking his return to BSB with a front row start, despite a crash himself.
Chris Walker (also a faller in Q1) was fourth, James Westmoreland fifth, and class rookie Richard Cooper sixth on his first ride for the Anvil TAG Kawasaki team.
However, triple champion Shane Byrne will start the session from back in 13th, after crashing and, despite making a return to the track, unable to find his time. Fellow title challenger James Ellison also had a disaster, crashing heavily and ending the day in 16th.
Other fallers in the crashfest session included Patric Muff (10th), Tommy Bridewell (11th), Michael Dunlop (12th), Simon Andrews (19th), Jakub Smrz (25th), Harry Hartley (27th) and Lee Costello (31st).