Round 6 - MCE British Superbike Championship - Brands Hatch GP - Qualification
If the three free practices that preceded qualification were to be used as a benchmark, we would be none the wiser who would be qualifying on pole position. Brookes, Laverty and Byrne topped each individual session and managed to make their intentions for the weekend clear - to give it everything they have.
The sixth round of the MCE British Superbike championship hits Brands Hatch for the second time this year, this time the biggest ever MCE BSB grid will be roaring around the GP circuit.
When Saturday rolled around the sun was out and was providing glorious conditions for racing. With Shakey Byrne starting the day on the right foot, finishing first in the final free practice, he seemed understandably calm and collected in the paddock, obviously relishing being at his home circuit.
In the build up to qualification Club MCE members made the most of the Kent sunlight and headed on an exclusive priority pit walk. As well as experiencing safety car laps roaring around the GP circuit, they were also treated to an appearance from Stuart Easton at the MCE stand who answered a variety of questions from the MCE Insurance policy holders.
The excitement continued when it was time for qualification with the riders battling it out for pole position. The likes of Dan Linfoot, Tommy Bridewell and Jason O'Halloran surprisingly fell short in Q1 and Q2 and were unable to make it into the final 10 for Q3.
It was Shakey Byrne who was able to bag himself pole position for tomorrow's race one, however only just. From the start of Q3 Josh Brookes was pushing his Milwaukee Yamaha to the limits and managed to bag a lap under the existing record, however Byrne was quick to respond and went even faster. It became clear upon Brookes' final lap that he had every intention of finishing in pole position and roared over the line in an another blisteringly fast lap. However it was not enough and Byrne finished top by an undoubtedly infuriating 0.001s in front of the Australian.
Laverty will start from the front row for the first time this season after finishing third the qualifier. Cooper, Easton and Ellison will make up the second row, followed by Parkes, Kiyonari, Hopkins and Mossey.
With the front row populated by the three riders who topped the three free practices, tomorrow's race one is almost certainly going to be one to remember. And with the likes of Easton, Ellison and Kiyonari close behind and eager to bag those championship points it certainly won't be a three horse race! Bring it on!
18.07.2015 - Big Ed