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Shakey not stirred to claim Snetterton pole position

Saturday, June 20 2015

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne has claimed pole position for tomorrow's opening MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race at Snetterton, mastering the changing conditions to hold off the Honda Racing pairing of Jason O'Halloran and Dan Linfoot.

The session started in dramatic style with Linfoot crashing unhurt at Montreal; however with little damage the Honda Racing rider was able to return to the pitlane and make the necessary repairs to get him back on circuit. He wasn't the only rider to crash out, a collision between Jakub Smrz and Victor Cox collided at the end of the Bentley Straight with the Lloyds British Ducati rider crashing out at Brundle, but he was able to walk away.

In Q2 James Ellison's qualifying session ended prematurely when he crashed out unhurt at Riches and despite making the cut for the top ten in Q3, there was too much damage to his JG Speedfit Kawasaki and he will start tenth for tomorrow's opening race.

In the final top ten shootout for pole position the conditions continued to change again and it was initially O'Halloran who held the advantage in the opening ten minutes, however he was soon toppled by the PBM Kawasaki of Stuart Easton, before the Australian reclaimed the place.

Byrne though returned to the track and the defending champion fired himself to the top of the times, 1.093s ahead of the Honda Racing pairing with Linfoot overcoming his earlier crash to narrowly make the cut for Q2 and then to fight his way inside the top ten for Q3. He was able to leap up the order to third, pushing Josh Brookes on the Milwaukee Yamaha back to fourth to head the second row.

Byrne said: "It was a tricky qualifying session and in all honesty I was watching the session at the start and it was obvious that everyone was going to have a go at the end. I saw the two Honda guys go out with new tyres and Jason (O'Halloran) had his knee down going through Agostini so I knew it was not as wet as we had thought!

"I said to the team, put a new tyre in and I went out and put in two or three laps, which was enough to take P1 but then they were catching up but I stayed out and crossed the line with about five seconds to spare and nailed it as it was as dry as it was going to be. I went a lot faster and I am delighted to take pole. The races will be hard work - it has been a strange weekend and the bike has thrown in a few spanners in the works and was different to how it was at the test here, but the team have done a great job for me as usual." 

Row two features both of the Tyco BMWs with Tommy Bridewell narrowly ahead of Michael Laverty with Easton, Luke Mossey and Josh Waters forging their way into the top ten.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Snetterton, Datatag Extreme Qualifying:

  1. Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) 1m:48.376s
  2. Jason O'Halloran (Honda Racing) +1.093s
  3. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +1.340s
  4. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +1.500s
  5. Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) +1.735s
  6. Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +1.877s
  7. Stuart Easton (PBM Kawasaki) +3.099s
  8. Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +3.209s
  9. Josh Waters (Bennetts Suzuki) +3.454s
  10. James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)