John Hopkins has taken a surprise pole position, taking the Tyco Suzuki to his first pole since the same race all the way back in 2011. The American, who has struggled so far this season, managed a 1:29.5 lap to finish 0.04 ahead of Ryuichi Kiyonari.
Kiyonari, actually 0.1 faster than Hopkins in the previous Q2 session, was second, while Shane Byrne, chasing Kiyonari for podium credits and the elusive fourth MCE BSB crown, rounded out the front row.
A late lap from Peter Hickman, continuing to show excellent form on the RAF Reserves Honda after his win last time out at Cadwell, took fourth. Stuart Easton, attempting to secure himself a Showdown spot with a last grasp, was fifth, while Josh Brookes rounded out row two after a heavy crash in free practice three this morning.
Chris Walker had a disappointing day, however, finishing back in fourteenth after struggling with a misfire in the qualifying session. His teammate James Ellison, coming back from a broken leg six weeks ago, was one place behind in fifteenth.