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Sep 25, 2010

Updated: Brookes Wins British Superbike Superpole At Silverstone

Penultimate round Silverstone 25/26 September



Swan Combi Roll for Pole
1 Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) 2m:06.215s
2.Michael Rutter ( Ducati) +0.122s
3.Michael Laverty (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +0.260s
4.Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +0.362s
5.Loris Baz (Motorpoint Yamaha) +0.697s
6.Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +0.786s


Josh Brookes snatched the pole start for the penultimate round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship with a scorching lap of the Silverstone Arena Grand Prix circuit by just a tenth of a second over his Title Fighter rival Michael Rutter.

Riding the HM Plant Honda, Brookes is keen to make amends for a lack lustre performance in the previous round at Croft that left him in fourth place in the title stakes, 28 points down on the series leading Tommy Hill, and with the Worx Suzuki rider starting from the second row, the Australian is feeling confident.

For Brookes, these are "must win races" and after strong performances in Saturday morning free practice and then the Swan Combi Roll for Pole, he is feeling confident: "The bike was at its best in that final session we have been working through the weekend making small changes and all that was left was for me to go out and put a lap together."

The competition in the final element of the grid decider was strong, and Brookes was under pressure: "I saw P4 on my pit signal board and didn't like that, and maybe I was trying too hard and needed to relax a little. I did that, let the bike get on, and I am really happy to have the pole start.

"I have to got out and take victories here after the previous round at Croft that was far from satisfactory for me. Wins are all that I can focus on, and, here we have done a lot of laps on used tyres with good times and that gives me confidence that the bike will be good all of the way through to the end of the races," added Brookes after his lap in a time of 2m 06.215secs.

Rutter, fifth in the title standings, aboard the Ducati, was far from disappointed at having to settle for second best in qualifying. "We've been struggling all weekend with set-up but seem to have it right for the races in which I cannot afford any slip up like in the first race at Croft I'm still kicking myself for that! Now, I've got to go out there for race wins."

Michael Laverty, a race winner last time out on the Relentless Suzuki, set the third best time, 2m 06.475secs, as he settled into rhythm to go for the lead in the championship, starting in second place overall in the standings, 16 points down on Hill. "I'm happy with a front row start, though we have a few things to work on and there is a bit more to come from the bike I want at least one win here."

Ryuichi Kiyonari, the former two times winner of the British crown, completed the front row on the second HM Plant Honda, despite a tumble at Farm on the final lap while series leading Hill, who had tumbled heavily at the same corner during the morning free practice session, was a second row starter for the first time this season, sixth fastest, 2m 07.001secs, marginally down on 17 year old French rider Loris Baz who slid off his Motorpoint Yamaha at the Loop in the final element of the Roll for Pole.

Alastair Seeley, the sixth of the Title Fighters, struggled to match the pace, starting his Relentless Suzuki from the fourth row of the grid, 14th fastest, while James Hillier, riding the Bournemouth Kawasaki, was the fastest of the qualifiers in the BSB-EVO Class, ahead of Craig Fitzpatrick, Hudson Kennaugh and the series leading Jentin BMW rider Steve Brogan.

More, from a press release issued by Swan Honda:


The Swan Honda team are gearing up for tomorrow's penultimate round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Silverstone and will make some final setting changes for morning warm up after James Ellison and Stuart Easton qualified in tenth and thirteenth respectively.

Ellison fought his way through to the final Q3 session in the Swan Combi Roll for Pole, setting his fastest lap of the weekend, but will start the opening race from tenth on the grid. Easton meanwhile struggled to find a setting he was comfortable with and his fastest time put him thirteenth on the grid for the first race.

Ellison said: "We have some more changes to make in warm up tomorrow, but each time we have made a tweak so far this weekend we have seen a big improvement in the times we have been able to run. For us we have just been playing catch up here again, but between the technician from K-Tech and my crew chief Mick (Shanley) they have formulated a plan for warm up to improve the front end of the Swan Honda as that is where I have been struggling. I am confident though that with those changes we can be on the pace in the races tomorrow."

Easton said: "It hasn't been one of my best days and qualifying was tough for me. I did my best lap of the weekend so far but it wasn't enough and it has given me a lot of work to do from the fourth row for the first race tomorrow. I just didn't really feel comfortable and couldn't run the pace that we needed to in order to start on the front two rows, but we are going to make some changes in warm up, try a new rear spring and hopefully I will then be able to push hard in the races. The whole of the Swan Honda team is working hard to put us up the front tomorrow so I want to try and pull something out of the bag."

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:

For the first time this season, Worx Crescent Suzuki's Tommy Hill missed out on a front-row qualifying position after a crash in final free-practice cost him track time.

Although he recovered well, the lost time meant he wasn't able to push for his customary start position. Finishing the Swan Roll for Pole in P6, Hill will start tomorrow's first race from the second row.

Team-mate Yukio Kagayama struggled with set-up issues that were eventually traced to gas leaking from his rear shock. Kagayama qualified in 12th position.

Tommy Hill:

"The crash was a bit of rider error, just pushing a little too much a little too soon. It was a shame as I'd finished second free practice as fastest and was keen to maintain that position. The team were excellent as ever with the accident repairs and I was able to make it back on track in the last minutes to post fourth fastest.

"However, the lack of laps put us in the position of having to try a change to the set-up in qualifying, and although it looked like the right thing to do, the bike didn't feel right. So I'm disappointed not to be on the front row.

"We'll revert to our best setting then for tomorrow. I'll go for the best start I can manage and push forward as hard as I can. Tomorrow, as they say, is another day!"

Yukio Kagayama:

"Today was an unlucky day for me. First I had a clutch problem and then the suspension. So to qualify in P12 is not so nice. But I think we have dealt with our problems and I like the track so I think tomorrow I can make good progress."

Jack Valentine - Team Manager:

"We're not on the front row for once, but this is far from a disaster. Tommy has shown so much fighting spirit this season that to start from P6 isn't a major obstacle, and we can still expect him to be fighting for honours tomorrow.

"Importantly, Tommy's done the groundwork, and the misfortunes we've suffered this afternoon shouldn't stop us from seeing that he's got sound settings for both wet and dry and I'm certain he'll be matching the pace of the front row. Obviously he'll have a little more work to do at the start of the race but otherwise it'll be business as usual.

"Yuki's had to work hard again today and the shock issue set him back. But once we'd discovered and rectified the fault, he immediately improved his lap time by over a second, so I can see he also will have more to come tomorrow."

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship
Swan Combi Roll for Pole result:

1. Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) 2m: 06.215s
2. Michael Rutter ( Ducati) +0.122s
3. Michael Laverty (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +0.260s
4. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +0.362s
5. Loris Baz (Motorpoint Yamaha) +0.697s
6. Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +0.786s
7. Dan Linfoot (Motorpoint Yamaha) +1.206s
8. Chris Walker ( SMT Honda) +1.393s
9. Simon Andrews (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +1.410s
10. James Ellison (Swan Honda) +1.865s
12. Yukio Kagayama (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +2.095s

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki New Service:

Michael Laverty's rich vein of form continued at the all-new Silverstone Arena GP circuit, taking third position on the grid for tomorrow's opening British Superbike race.

Laverty topped the opening free practice session on Friday in wet conditions and was never outside the top three in the dry sessions and he is now well set up for whatever the Met Office throws at him on Sunday.

Alastair Seeley was also well in the mix during Friday's opening session in sixth place. But having crashed out of session two at the high-speed Farm corner, the Ulsterman was forced onto the sidelines until this morning - his team working frantically to repair his damaged machine. Seeley missed out on the final Roll for Poll session but made steady progress throughout Q1 and Q2, taking 1.2secs off his free practice best. He will start the opening race in 14th place on row four.

Michael Laverty:

"Practice and qualifying have gone to plan and we have chipped away in every session getting faster all the time and improving our race set-up. I haven't been out of the top three all weekend and we have that all-important front row start in the bag for race one. I'm feeling confident about our pace for tomorrow. The grip levels at this circuit are quite low but the Relentless by TAS Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike works well on worn tyres, which I believe will be the key for tomorrow's races."

Alastair Seeley:

"I was going ok in the wet and then I crashed at the start of the next session on the out-lap. I lost the front at high speed through Farm, so I have been building my confidence ever since. I'm disappointed with 14th in qualifying but we are going to make a few changes to the bike for warm-up and see if that helps me. Apart from that I just need a good night's sleep and hang in there tomorrow."

Philip Neill - Team Manager:

"I think that's pretty much the first part of our job done this weekend. We have not been shooting it out and leaving the brain in the toolbox going for pole position. Michael has shown consistent pace yet again in qualifying this weekend and he's doing it comfortably and confidently. The track is new to all the riders apart from Brookes and Kiyo who raced here at the World Superbike event, so to be within 0.26secs is more than pleasing.

"Alastair has had a disappointing and frustrating start to his weekend. He's had to pretty much start from scratch today after his crash on Friday. His confidence has understandably taken a bit of a knock, but he has made significant progress in today's sessions. He must now concentrate on finishing both races tomorrow."

Silverstone BSB Qualifying for Race 1:

1.Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) 2m:06.215s
2.Michael Rutter ( Ducati) +0.122s
3.Michael Laverty (Relentless by TAS Suzuki) +0.260s
4.Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +0.362s
5.Loris Baz (Motorpoint Yamaha) +0.697s
6.Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +0.786s
7.Dan Linfoot (Motorpoint Yamaha) +1.206s
8.Chris Walker ( SMT Honda) +1.393s
9.Simon Andrews (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +1.410s
10.James Ellison (Swan Honda) +1.865s
14. Alastair Seeley [Relentless by TAS Suzuki]