BSB: Traditional Superpole qualifying format returns at Cadwell Park

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The traditional one-lap Superpole qualifying format will return to the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Cadwell Park later this month.

The format, used predominantly in the World Superbike Championship during the 1990s and 2000s, puts the rider under immense pressure as they only get one flying lap to try and qualify as high up on the grid as possible.

Superpole has been used in BSB previously, with series promoter MSVR now bringing it back for a one-off appearance after agreeing the format change with the teams. The idea behind the change is to “alleviate some of the challenges and peculiarities presented by the famous Lincolnshire venue.”

Race Director Stuart Higgs explains: “Cadwell Park is completely unique with its layout and challenges, which include two active pit lanes on different parts of the circuit. Qualifying 2 with the sharp end of the grid positions being decided represents a concentrated period of the fastest lap times of the weekend with typically 18 riders on track concurrently. 

“The dual pit lanes and general risks of riders disturbing each other on committed laps steered us to consider bringing back the traditional and symbolic original Superpole format.

“As well as alleviating some of the unique challenges presented by the circuit, I’m sure it will be a great spectacle for the fans at the track and at home.”

As Cadwell Park is a Bank Holiday race meeting (August 27-29), the weekend qualifying format will begin on Saturday with the traditional Superpicks Free Practice sessions, both lasting 40 minutes. The combined top 12 riders from those sessions will go directly into the Superpole session.

The remaining riders will take part in the 15-minutes Superpicks qualifying session, with the top three joining the 12 riders already set to take part in the Superpole event.

The first rider will be released from pit lane at 2pm, with successive riders being released at two minutes intervals for their out lap, flying lap and cool-down lap. 

In the event of wet conditions, Superpole will revert to a 15-minute session for the 15 riders.

The Cadwell Park race meeting will be shown live on Eurosport and free-to-air channel, Quest, as well as the Discovery+ app.  

Josh Close

By Josh Close

Sports Reporter and fan of all things motorsport.