BSB: Byrne tops all Kawasaki front row as Brookes crashes

Championship leader Shane Byrne will start tomorrow’s British Superbike race from pole position ahead of GBmoto teammate’s James Ellison and Chris Walker making it an all-Kawasaki front row at Brands Hatch.

Byrne will start from pole at home

Photo: MCE BSB

Milwaukee Yamaha’s Josh Brookes had a tough afternoon down south as he set the fastest time in Q1 before crashing coming out of Westfield Bend which caused the session to be red flagged, however Brookes walked away unharmed. With minimal damage done to his R1, Brookes was able to go back out and make it into Q3 although he crashed for a second time, at Sheene Curve in the closing minutes of the session leaving him down in 8th position on the grid.

After a recent resurge in form, Ryuichi Kiyonari finished Q1 fastest, setting a time of 1.26.859 at the end of the session to take him top on his Buildbase BMW machine. The Japanese rider finished Q3 in sixth position meaning he will start the race from the back of the second row. Rookie Lee Jackson qualified in 19th position on the grid after a strong opening qualifying in the MCE BSB class for Buildbase BMW, making it through into Q2 after a fast lap in the final minutes of Q1.

Lloyds British GBmoto had a strong qualifying session with both riders finishing on the front row following a final surge in the closing minutes of Q3. Ellison and Walker finished Q1 in 3rd and 5th respectively, and after finishing lower down in Q2 they were both able to qualify 0.058 from pole position with Ellison giving Walker a tow on the closing laps.

Ellison was happy with his qualifying time “Happy with that, we’ve been quite strong all weekend and I was really pushing for the pole. Shakey was looking like he was struggling a little bit and I said to the boys ‘I bet he’s got something in the bag’ and sure enough he had something there. It was great, that last run I didn’t really know what to do ’cause we were lacking a little bit of time. I thought ‘do we go out with some of the fast guys in the final qualifying and try and get a tow and see where I’m losing out’ and none of them went out so I went out on my own again and my team-mate was following me. It’s good to get to GBmotos on the front row, peaking.” 

Walker is greatful to his team-mate for the tow, securing a time of 1.26.189 to put him in second “To be honest the lap time didn’t come up on my bike so I didn’t know how fast I’d gone, I couldn’t get within a second of it on my own, so a big thank you to James, he looked behind him and he saw I was there so fair play to him. Couldn’t be any better, well chuffed.” 

Heading the front row for the third time this season Byrne was happy he found a fix in time for Q3: “Q1 and Q2 really werent working and the reason I didnt spend that much time on track was because I thought it was more important to spend more time in the garage to fix the problems we were having, so I did one lap in Q1 and said to the guys ‘weve got work to do’, a similar situation in Q2, we did two or three laps and then finally got going a little bit in the last one. They (the team and suspension) made a last minute change at the end so thank you and that one’s for you guys.” 

For a full list of times click here.

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