Shane “Shakey” Byrne scorched inside his own Snetterton lap record to claim his second pole start of the season ahead of the third round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at the Norfolk circuit in a top ten that featured six different nationalities.
Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki’s Byrne leads the title standings, despite being beaten to the line by 0.118s at the previous round by the Australian, but he overcame the challenges from his rival with a stunning lap of 1m 47.488s.
Byrne, who is bidding for a record-breaking fourth title, said: “I’m really happy with that time. For me, the session was all about making sure that I was in the top three to take a front row start and I had a goal of the lap I wanted to set. But when I saw the time come up, I was really, really happy. We had made some changes to the bike and they really worked, but now we have two long races here and that is what it is all about.”
Czech Republic rider Jakub Smrz completes the front row of the grid, the first for the Millsport Ducati team and the first in four years for the Italian manufacturer. His best lap came in a last lap dash which pushed Frenchman Julien Da Costa and his Honda back on to the second row alongside Tommy Bridewell on the second Milwaukee Yamaha and James Ellison riding the Lloyd British GB Moto Kawasaki.
Swiss rider Patrick Muff ran seventh fastest on the Bathams BMW with his best performance of the season, ahead of three times champion Ryuichi Kiyonari and his Buildbase BMW team-mate James Westmoreland. Keith Farmer completed the top ten qualifiers despite crashing his PR Kawasaki in the session.
Datatag Extreme Qualifying :
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 1m:47.488s
2: Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.486s
3: Jakub Smrz (Millsport Ducati) +0.506s
4: Julien Da Costa (Honda Racing UK) +0.583s
5: Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.591s
6: James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +0.849s