Thruxton BSB: Smrz takes maiden BSB pole
Jakub Smrz has taken his long overdue virgin MCE British Superbike pole position, finishing 0.2 ahead of Josh Brookes to give Millsport Ducati their debut on the top spot as well, with his 1:15.281 lap.
Brookes was second on the Milwaukee Yamaha, a further 0.2 ahead of the Quattro Plant Kawasaki of Dan Linfoot, as both rider and team also make their front row debut.
Shane Byrne was fourth, off the front row, while veteran Michael Rutter pushed Tommy Bridewell to sixth, as Rutter continues his excellent run of form on his ultra-fast Bathams BMW.
John Hopkins, topping the timesheets in Q2 for the first time this year, was seventh, and Peter Hickman and Chris Walker rounding out row three, a lack of grip demoting the GBmoto Kawasaki rider.
John Kirkham continued his new-found pace on the Halsall Kawasaki to take tenth, while winner last time out Ryuichi Kiyonari suffered, failing to make Q3 in eleventh.
Speaking afterwards, Smrz said: “As I always say, this season is new for us and pretty new for the Panigale. We’re working really ahrd to get me used to the bike, make improvements to it, and it’s always good to have some reward for it. It’s not everything, because we need to be fast in the races too, but we’re getting there.”
“I really like tracks like Thruxton – it reminds me of Philip Island, which is one of my favourites. We just need to keep on working now, and keep working on the slow tracks too.”