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Laverty claims Cadwell Park pole

Sunday, August 28 2011

Swan Yamaha's Michael Laverty stormed to his first pole position in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship after a last lap dash saw him snatch the position from team-mate Tommy Hill in the closing seconds of Q3.

In Q1 Laverty set the pace from team-mate Hill as the pair swapped places at the top of the times, despite Josh Brookes closing in on the Relentless Suzuki by TAS. Laverty maintained his position at the top of the times with Byrne ending the session in fourth with Michael Rutter completing the top five on the Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati whilst his main opposition for the top six, Ryuichi Kiyonari was thirteenth. The defending champion had a moment off track between Mansfield and the Mountain bottom but was able to make it through to Q2.

In Q2 Laverty again improved his lap time to set the pace from team-mate Hill whilst Byrne was third fastest on the HM Plant Honda; however it was a disastrous session for some of the riders challenging for Title Fighter positions in the Showdown as Gary Mason and Kiyonari didn't make it through to Q3 with the pair qualifying 13th and 16th respectively. They will have a battle on their hands tomorrow for the second race to move up the order in a bid to be inside the top six ahead of the Showdown as Rutter and Kirkham were inside the top seven.

In Q3 Hill looked set to claim the pole position but Laverty stole it away in the final seconds with Peter Hickman qualifying third to start from the front row for the first time this season on the Tyco Honda. Josh Brookes just missed out in fourth and he will head row two from Rutter and Byrne. Jon Kirkham who is also in with a mathematical chance of claiming a Title Fighter position will start seventh ahead of leading Mirror.co.uk BSB Evo rider Graeme Gowland who again powered the WFR Honda inside the top ten. Martin Jessopp and Alex Lowes completed the top ten.

Laverty said: "I am really happy to have the pole position for Swan Yamaha as it is my first in BSB; I had make some mistakes on the previous lap but I am really chuffed. Now is the time to take chances as we need the results here to be in a good position for the Showdown. I was hoping I could just pull it out the bag but I wasn't sure if Tommy Hill was just going to take it back on his final lap. We are building up to the race this afternoon now so we will see what we can do this afternoon."

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Cadwell Park, qualifying (grid for race two):

  1. Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) 1m:26.571s
  2. Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +0.071s
  3. Peter Hickman (Tyco Honda) +0.533s
  4. Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +0.625s
  5. Michael Rutter (Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati) +0.693s
  6. Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) +0.785s
  7. Jon Kirkham (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) +0.952s
  8. Graeme Gowland (WFR Honda) +1.255s
  9. Martin Jessopp (Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati) +1.295s
  10. Alex Lowes (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +1.361s

The first MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race of the day gets underway at 14:45.