BSB: Irwin pips Mossey to pole by 0.032 seconds

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Glenn Irwin will start on pole position for tomorrow’s opening Bennetts British Superbike race at Thruxton after a super-hot qualifying session.

The Be Wiser Ducati star narrowly pipped JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Luke Mossey to take his second successive pole position with brother and team-mate Andrew joining him on the front row.

With the Hampshire circuit basking in sunshine once again, a track temperature of 44 degrees combined with the super-abrasive track surface meant riders had just one lap to get the best out of their soft Pirelli rubber.

Irwin’s time of 1’14.565 came in spite of him getting held up by a mistake from Leon Haslam at the chicane, meaning the polesitter’s lap wasn’t quite as quick as the time set by his younger brother in Q2, but it remained good enough to take pole by 0.032 seconds.

An elated Mossey showed signs of coming through his recent dry patch as he secured his first front row start for JG Speedfit Kawasaki since the first round at Donington Park.

The second Be Wiser Ducati of Andrew Irwin, who topped Q2 with the quickest time of the weekend, bagged his maiden BSB front row just over a tenth off his brother.

Josh Brookes recovered late in Q3 to jump onto the second row in fourth ahead of Bradley Ray and Jake Dixon.

Looking to secure a second row start earlier in the session, Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon was pushed back to seventh in the closing stages ahead of series leader Leon Haslam and Danny Buchan, who almost dropped out of qualifying after suffering with grip issues in Q1.

Injured Jason O’Halloran narrowly missed out on a spot in Q3 and will start tomorrow’s first race tenth.

Struggling with a mystery illness, early pacesetter Peter Hickman will line up 11th, while it was a tough session for his BMW counterpart Michael Laverty who starts 19th after failing to progress to Q1.

Tarran Mackenzie, who has shown strong pace throughout the weekend for McAMS Yamaha, will start last after an engine issue at the start of qualifying.

Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

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