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Defending champion Byrne fights back with Oulton Park pole position

Sunday, April 30 2017

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne fought back at Oulton Park this afternoon as the defending champion claimed his first pole position of the season for the Be Wiser Ducati team, holding off Leon Haslam by 0.184s in the final eight minute battle for pole position in Datatag Qualifying.

The nine riders headed out for the final session but Haslam and Byrne were both pushing with their first flying lap with the treat of rain looming. A few spots of rain at the start of the session saw Haslam unfazed and the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider instantly lapped with a best time of 1m:34.679s, but further down the track Byrne was focused on his lap and he edged ahead.

Byrne set his best lap of the weekend to edge Haslam, but the 'Pocket Rocket' gave it another go - improving his time but it wasn't enough to push his Be Wiser Ducati rival from the top spot.

Luke Mossey completes the front row; he was left slightly disappointed after making a mistake on his fastest lap. It was just 0.199s that cost Josh Brookes a front row start for the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha team; the Australian the only Yamaha rider to feature inside the top ten with the McAMS Yamaha duo of James Ellison in 15th and Michael Laverty crashing out unhurt in Q1.

Glenn Irwin qualified fifth fastest ahead of Jake Dixon who had his best qualifying of the season for the RAF Reserves Kawasaki team in sixth place. Jason O'Halloran was the leading Honda Racing rider in seventh with Peter Hickman and Christian Iddon completing the top nine.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Datatag Qualifying:

  1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 1m:34.016s
  2. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.184s
  3. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.728s
  4. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +0.927s
  5. Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.939s
  6. Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +0.953s
  7. Jason O'Halloran (Honda Racing) +0.978s
  8. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.997s
  9. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +1.175s