Byrne thrilled with Thruxton pole
Shane 'Shakey' Byrne completed a stunning lap in difficult conditions to win the Swan Combi 50 - Roll for Pole this afternoon for round two of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Thruxton.
Airwaves Ducati's 'Shakey' Byrne said: "All credit to the Airwaves Ducati team today, we went out on wet tyres but if the session had been delayed any longer we probably would have gone out on intermediates and gone quicker. It was tricky conditions; there was a transition period when it could have gone either way - it was a bit too dry for wet tyres and a bit too wet for dry tyres! I would love a double tomorrow, it was disappointing not to race at Brands Hatch but we want to make up for it tomorrow."
It was Leon Haslam that had been the fastest rider in the damp conditions for most of the session for HM Plant Honda. The 'Pocket Rocket' launched himself to the top of the times, shadowed by team-mate Cal Crutchlow until the last 15 minutes when Michael Rutter posted a flying lap time that put him ahead of Crutchlow.
Rutter hasn't been on the front row since 2006, but the North West 200 Ducati rider is confident ahead of tomorrow. He said: "I am really happy. This morning I thought we could drop a second off our lap time, which did. I need to get a good start and then aim for the podium."
Karl Harris who had been fastest in the final free practice session ended up fifth after struggling to post a fast lap when he was caught up with other riders.
Harris said: "I got caught in a lot of traffic and just couldn't find any clear space to complete a fast lap. I have a really good race set-up and I'm confident for the races tomorrow as we have worked really hard this weekend. I just need to make sure that I get a good start and then I should be up the front."
The session was red flagged with just less than half an hour on the clock when Tom Sykes had a high-speed crash at Noble. Sykes was unhurt in the crash, but his stricken Rizla Suzuki was still on the track. He was able to get back to the pits and go out on his number two machine, but could only finish 12th.
Sykes: "I came in to try a hard rear tyre, I had a clear run and I was out the back of the circuit and the rear tyre just let go. It lost me a lot of time getting back to the pits and I had to go out on the spare bike. I could have done with a few more minutes in the session to have a few more laps. The third row of the grid is not where I wanted to be, but I am going to try my hardest tomorrow and hopefully bag a decent amount of points."
Thruxton Superbike Qualifying result
1. Shane Byrne (Airwaves Ducati) 1:19.704s
2. Leon Haslam (HM Plant Honda) 1:19.872s
3. Michael Rutter (North West 200 Ducati) 1:19.949s
4. Cal Crutchlow (HM Plant Honda) 1:20.026s
5. Karl Harris (Rob Mac Yamaha) 1:20.372s
6. Leon Camier (Airwaves Ducati) 1:20.491s
7. Adam Jenkinson (SMT Honda) 1:20.842s
8. Michael Laverty (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 1:20.858s
9. John Laverty (Buildbase NW200 Ducati) 1:21.205s
10. Sean Emmett (AIM Yamaha) 1:21.356s
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