Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne, the defending champion set an incredible pace in this afternoon’s MCE Insurance British Superbike qualifying session at Knockhill to claim pole position for the fourth round with a time inside his own lap record set back in 2006.
The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider had been embroiled in a three-way fight for the pole position as standings leader Alex Lowes and Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Brookes both made an assault for the top spot, but Byrne proved that he means business at Knockhill.
Byrne said: “I’m really pleased with this, my first flying lap was good, but then Josh Brookes came through and I thought I just had to go for it. I had a few moments on the lap, but here we are. I wanted to get that pole position for my wife Petra who is unwell; hopefully that will give her something to smile about and thanks to everyone for sending her their best wishes.”
“Our race pace is good but we have a bit of work to do and a few little tweaks to make to perfect it for the race, but to come here and do this, ahead of teams who have tested here before, is good and we are in pretty good shape for the races,” added Byrne who is intent on overturning the single point deficit he has on Lowes in the standings.
Tyco Suzuki’s Brookes was just 0.010 seconds adrift of Byrne after admitting to some mistakes on his final lap dash to try and claim the pole position, whilst Lowes qualified third fastest aboard the Samsung Honda to secure an all important front row start at this short, but demanding circuit.
Jon Kirkham just missed out on a front row start for Buildbase BMW and heads the resurgent three-times title winner Ryuichi Kiyonari by just 0.003 seconds on the second Samsung Honda. Young American rider PJ Jacobsen aboard the second Tyco Suzuki completes row two.