Jake Dixon stormed to pole position with the quickest ever lap of Oulton Park this afternoon while drama stuck for title rival Leon Haslam.
A bit of drizzle in the lead up to qualifying had left parts of the circuit damp, but the track would dry up over the three qualifying sessions enabling Dixon to lap 0.2 seconds quicker than Shane Byrne’s outright circuit record from 2016.
There was no such joy for series leader Haslam, who was unable to complete a lap after his JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s motor lost a cylinder on his outlap ruling him out of the three-stage knockout session. He’ll start tomorrow’s opening race from 24th on the grid.
The track was in perfect conditions come the third and final qualifying session with Dixon’s first flying lap an impressive 1’33.959, 0.6 seconds quicker than anyone had lapped all weekend.
The red flag would come out shortly after with FS3 Racing’s Danny Buchan crashing heavily at Island bend. Up on his feet immediately, he was then taken to the medical centre for precautionary checks.
The session was restarted with just three minutes on the clock, leaving just enough time for an out-lap and a flying lap.
Dixon would go even quicker to annihilate Byrne’s circuit record, with Tommy Bridewell shooting to second for MotoRapido Ducati.
The session wasn’t all gloom for the JG Speedfit Kawasaki with a rejuvenated Luke Mossey bagging his third front row start of the year, pushing McAMS Yamaha’s Josh Brookes onto the second row.
Glenn Irwin will start fifth for Be Wiser Ducati ahead of the leading Buildbase Suzuki of Richard Cooper.
Bradley Ray heads up row three on the second Suzuki ahead of Tarran Mackenzie while Buchan will start ninth should he be able to race.
Andrew Irwin narrowly missed out on Q3 in tenth place, and showdown contender Peter Hickman was another unable to progress to the final session after a number of electrical issues. He’ll start the race 12th.