Leon Haslam took pole position for tomorrow’s opening MCE British Superbike race at Cadwell Park in a thrilling qualifying session which saw the top eight under the existing lap record.
Haslam, who has held the race lap record at Cadwell since 2007, left it late in Q3 to set his time of 1’25.932, which is the fastest-ever two-wheeled lap of the Lincolnshire circuit.
The intense Q3 session followed a dramatic Q1 and Q2, which saw a number of riders crash out including Billy McConnell and Christian Iddon. Dan Linfoot also tipped off his Honda in the second session, but was able to remount and get back to the pits.
Richard Cooper set the bar high in the early stages of Q3 as he took provisional pole with a lap of 1’26.162, a time only surmounted until the closing moments of the session when Shane Byrne was able to lap just 0.003 seconds quicker than the BMW rider.
Byrne’s time saw local lad Lee Jackson drop off the front row, but a fourth place start still marks a career-best qualifying for the 20-year-old.
Jason O’Halloran will start fifth for Honda Racing with Luke Mossey completing the front two rows in sixth.
Tommy Bridewell took seventh for Bennetts Suzuki ahead of James Ellison and Dan Linfoot, who was able to get back out in the third session after this Q2 crash.
It was a disastrous session for Tyco BMW with neither Michael Laverty nor Christian Iddon making it through to the final session. After his heavy crash at Charlies in Q2, Iddon will start 13th just one spot ahead of team-mate Laverty.
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