BSB: Bridewell takes surprise pole in rain-interrupted qualifying

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Tommy Bridewell took a surprise pole position for the opening MCE British Superbike race at Brands Hatch in a rain-interrupted qualifying session. 

The three-phase session began in near-perfect conditions but as the sessions went on, drops of rain began to fall. While the track would never be completely wet, it was too wet for dry tyres meaning tyre choice was crucial for the final eight-minute shootout. 


However, things had been dramatic enough ahead of the change in conditions with title contender Leon Haslam sensationally crashing out after his right handlebar snapped off in his hand as he headed into Stirling’s bend. Jumping off the bike, Haslam’s session was over and he’ll start tomorrow’s race from 17th.

Bridewell’s choice of wet front tyre saw him cruise to the top of the timesheets at the end of the final session, with Christian Iddon taking second riding with an intermediate front and slick rear. Luke Mossey completed the front row. 

Jason O’Halloran will start fifth ahead of series leader Shane Byrne and Richard Cooper, with James Ellison and John Hopkins completing the nine riders in Q3.

Dan Linfoot will start tenth after missing out on a spot in the final session, followed by Peter Hickman, Jakub Smrz and Glenn Irwin. 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing