Bradley Ray will start from pole position for the opening Bennetts British Superbike race at Silverstone after mastering the tricky conditions in qualifying.
After drizzle throughout the morning, the circuit was still wet as qualifying got underway but a dry line was already forming at the start of Q1 meaning strategy was everything with some riders switching to intermediates and slicks towards the end of the session.
One big name casualty was showdown contender Danny Buchan, who will start this afternoon’s opening race from 23rd on the grid after failing to progress from Q1.
The track had dried enough for slicks in the second session, but the drama wouldn’t stop there with Christian Iddon, who sits just 15 points off a Showdown spot, crashing out at Luffield. It proved to be a tough session for the Tyco BMW squad with Iddon’s team-mate Michael Laverty retiring with a broken chain.
Peter Hickman, who is also fighting for a showdown spot this weekend, found himself down in 15th after struggling for grip in the mixed conditions.
Ray was on dry pace almost straightaway in Q3, before improving his lap twice to secure pole with a 53’864, comfortably ahead of second-placed Jake Dixon who was lucky to have set his lap early in the session after suffering a technical problem in the closing moments. Glenn Irwin completes the front row for Be Wiser Ducati.
Tarran Mackenzie narrowly missed out on the front row and will start the opening race ofourth ahead of team-mate Josh Brookes, who was denied the chance of improving when his McAMS Yamaha suffered yet another technical issue. A battered Leon Haslam completes row two.
Luke Mossey will line up at the head of row three in seventh ahead of the second Buildbase Suzuki of Richard Cooper with Jason O’Halloran ninth. Andrew Irwin narrowly missed out on Q3 and will start tenth.
Race one gets underway at 16:15 local time.