Jake Dixon took a third successive pole position in a dramatic final qualifying session of the year at Brands Hatch.
There was drama from the off with Christian Iddon, Mason Law and Jason O’Halloran all tipping off in the early stages of Q1, but having set a time good enough to progress to Q2 the Honda Racing team worked frantically to get the Aussie O’Halloran back out.
However, as he headed back out on track as Q2 got underway an oil leak sprung through a cracked engine casing bringing out a red flag, but not before JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Luke Mossey and title challenger Jake Dixon slipped off on the oil.
Action resumed after a short delay with Mossey, Dixon and even O’Halloran able to get back on track.
Cautious of the cement dust-covered oil slick on the exit of Graham Hill, times were initially slower until Q3, when Dixon upped the ante with the quickest lap of the weekend to take pole position.
Be Wiser Ducati’s Glenn Irwin stormed to second with the McAMS Yamaha of Tarran Mackenzie completing the front row.
Andrew Irwin heads up row two on the second Be Wiser Ducati ahead of the MotoRapido machine of Tommy Bridewell and Peter Hickman in sixth.
Richard Cooper will start seventh for Buildbase Suzuki ahead of series leader Leon Haslam.
Josh Brookes completes row three after making it into Q3 by just 0.001 seconds from Jason O’Halloran.
The weekend’s first race kicks off at 16:00, where Haslam has his first chance at going for the 2018 crown.