British Superbike Championship Knockhill Circuit, Scotland June 18 Qualifying Results (wet conditions, all on Pirelli tires): From Qualifying Session Three: 1. Tommy Hill (Yam YZF-R1), 52.867 seconds 2. John Hopkins (Suz GSX-R1000), 53.045 3. Gary Mason (Kaw ZX-10R), 53.592 4. Michael Rutter (Duc 1098R), 53.766 5. Jon Kirkham (Suz GSX-R1000), 53.836 6. Josh Brookes (Suz GSX-R1000), 53.863 7. Glen Richards (Hon CBR1000RR), 54.466, EVO 8. James Westmoreland (Yam YZF-R1), 54.596 9. Shane Byrne (Hon CBR1000RR), 54.799 10. Loris Baz (Yam YZF-R1), 55.145 From Qualifying Session Two: 11. Michael Laverty (Yam YZF-R1), 54.263 12. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Hon CBR1000RR), 54.464 13. Simon Andrews (Kaw ZX-10R), 54.471, EVO 14. Steve Brogan (Hon CBR1000RR), 54.768 15. Graeme Gowland (Hon CBR1000RR), 54.846, EVO 16. Tommy Bridewell (Hon CBR1000RR), 55.169 17. Alex Lowes (Kaw ZX-10R), 55.316 18. Ian Lowry (BMW S1000RR), 55.403 19. James Hillier (Kaw ZX-10R), 55.806, EVO 20. Jake Zemke (Hon CBR1000RR), 56.458, EVO From Qualifying Session One: 21. Peter Hickman (Hon CBR1000RR), 55.181 22. Scott Smart (Duc 1098R), 55.199, EVO 23. Chris Walker (Kaw ZX-10R), 55.200 24. John Laverty (BMW S1000RR), 55.229 25. Martin Jessopp (Duc 1098R), 55.377 26. Patric Muff (Hon CBR1000RR), 55.659, EVO 27. Dan Linfoot (Hon CBR1000RR), 55.687 28. Craig Fitzpatrick (Hon CBR1000RR), 56.340, EVO 29. Joshua Day (Kaw ZX-10R), 56.515, EVO 30. Tom Tunstall (BMW S1000RR), 56.553, EVO 31. Dennis Hobbs (BMW S1000RR), 56.669, EVO 32. Mark Miller (Apr RSV4 Factory), 58.383, EVO 33. Barry Burrell (BMW S1000RR), no time recorded, EVO More, from a press release issued by Swan Yamaha: SWAN YAMAHA FLY TO POLE POSITION AT KNOCKHILL Swan Yamaha will start from pole position in the opening MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race at Knockhill tomorrow after Tommy Hill mastered the wet conditions in qualifying this afternoon to secure his second pole start of the eason. Hill had set the pace in free practice yesterday and again he was able to maintain the top spot in the conditions that continued to change over the three sessions. Michael Laverty will start from eleventh on the grid after he got nudged outside the top ten in the final seconds of Q2, leaving the Thruxton race winner determined to make amends in the races tomorrow. Hill said: “It is great to be back on pole for Swan Yamaha as it was turning into a bit of a gamble in the second session with the tyre choice again and at one point I was a bit worried as I was outside the top ten. We went out, I was feeling comfortable and basically we got the job done. We made a good start in the final session and I feel happy that we have the pace not only in qualifying but over race distance. It has been a good end to the day so hopefully we can keep it up tomorrow.” Laverty said: “I am kicking myself a bit after that qualifying as I thought I was safe and through to Q3, but it just shows you that it changes so quickly. I didn’t take that extra chance to go out again and push harder and it was annoying to have dropped out. To be honest I don’t think it is going to be a major drama as I think we have a good race pace for tomorrow. We just need a good start and we can go from there; we have a few changes to make in the morning but we are not in a bad position ahead of the races.” More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service: Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki rider John Hopkins will start tomorrow’s fifth round of the 2011 British Superbikes Championship from the front row. The American narrowly missed taking Pole Position at the rain-swept Knockhill circuit in Fife, placing second fastest in qualifying today. His team-mate Jon Kirkham will start from the second row in P5, having himself narrowly missed joining Hopkins on the front row. John Hopkins: “We’re very well placed for tomorrow’s races. We’ve had an all-wet weekend so far, but my bike has been competitive throughout and with the adjustments my crew chief and mechanics have been making, the bike has only become better, finding more grip, and making better acceleration. “The qualifying sessions were very difficult with a mix of wet and dry and any time you have to push to the limit in these conditions, it’s going to be difficult. I played safe in the earlier sessions by staying with wet tyres when others went for intermediates and for me that paid off. I was very close to getting Pole in that final session but I had Tommy Hill in my tow and he was able to use that to his advantage, stealing the Pole. “But I’m happy. We’re front row and we’ve good settings for the wet and – because we tested here two weeks ago – the dry. We’re in really good shape. I’m looking forward to the races.” Jon Kirkham: “That was a fraught qualifier. I rode Q1 on wets setting seventh fastest early on but came in as it dried, looking to change tyres, then saw my time plummeting down the table as others took advantage of the drying track. With a red-flag incident as well, I literally squeaked through. So I started Q2 on intermediates, but couldn’t get a clear quick lap in, then we got a red flag when I was in 14th. Fortunately I got out again and made seventh fastest. In Q3 I was struggling for rear grip and the slides meant I was again around seventh, but I managed a clean last lap and pulled up to fifth. Much happier! “So we’ll be looking to try one more setting tomorrow morning in warm-up to see if we can’t improve rear grip. But I’m feeling comfortable with the set-up and I’m hoping I can convert this into two top-fives come tomorrow.” Jack Valentine – Team Manager: “Another good build up to the races. This is Hopper’s third front row qualifier – all on tracks he’s never raced before. That’s an amazing feat. He had a good practice build-up except for a slight snag in free practice three. So the bike and rider are 100% ready – as Hopper demonstrated in qualifying. “JK has done a brilliant job in qualifying in P5, barely 0.1-seconds off the front row. He struggled with tyre choices in the first two sessions but got his head down in Q3. To grab P5 was excellent and sets him up for some good performances tomorrow. “We’re told we’re over the worst of the weather, but that could make for a bit of a lottery tomorrow if we’ve got a drying track; we’d almost prefer for it to stay all wet. But saying that, our test here a fortnight ago gave us a chance to work on dry settings and we set some good times in that test, so we’re confident we’ve covered all the angles.” More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service: Josh Brookes put his Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing GSX-R1000 on the second row for tomorrow’s opening British Superbike Championship at Knockhill in Scotland after qualifying in sixth place in the final Q3 session, despite crashing late on. Josh Brookes: “Crashes aside, it’s a fairly-improved weekend with my best qualifying of the year, which was my plan this weekend. Qualifying this year has been one of my weak areas for whatever reason and it may have been even better today if I hadn’t crashed, but you’ve got to keep trying. We’ll just have to see what tomorrow brings. If it’s dry, it’s going to be a really strange situation as we’ve ridden all weekend so far in the wet. It could be fun out there tomorrow.” Philip Neill – Team Manager: “Josh made progress today and showed his determination by fighting his way into the Q3 session and at one stage looked a good bet for a top-three spot. Unfortunately he got caught out right at the end, not only slipping back to P6, but also crashing quite heavily. He’s not injured, thankfully, but frustratingly the boys have been left with quite a bit of work to do to get the bike ready for tomorrow. Hopefully we can be fighting for podium honours; I certainly think we deserve it.” British Superbike Qualifying: 1 Tommy Hill [Yamaha] 52.867sec; 2 John Hopkins [Suzuki] 53.045; 3 Gary Mason [Kawasaki] 53.592; 4 Michael Rutter [Ducati] 53.766; 5 Jon Kirkham [Suzuki] 53.836; 6 Josh Brookes [Relentless Suzuki by TAS] 53.863. More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service: Alastair Seeley took his fifth podium of the season at Knockhill during today’s 18-lap British Supersport race in wet conditions, coming home in second place. Seeley aggressively took the holeshot to avoid the spray and led for eight laps, but in the latter stages he decided discretion was the better part of valour, bringing his Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing machine home on two wheels for 20 valuable Championship points. In doing so he closes the gap marginally in the title race. Alastair Seeley: “I got a good start, took the holeshot, then watched my boards, but I could hear Sam behind me. He was quicker in a few areas but I was able to close him down in others and he nearly crashed when we got caught up in back markers. I started to think, ‘do I go for it here or sit back and take the points’ as I knew Ben Wilson was behind me. So in the end, in these conditions, it was safer to settle for points and wait for tomorrow.” Philip Neill – Team Manager “Alastair showed his maturity today with another great ride on the new GSX-R600. He did all he could at the start of the race to make a break but Sam Warren was determined to get his debut victory today and fair play to the lad. On the positive side Alastair has closed the gap in the Championship, albeit marginally, and he still has tomorrow to see if he can get that Knockhill victory.” British Supersport Race 1 Result [18 laps]: 1 Sam Warren [Yamaha]; 2 Alastair Seeley [Relentless Suzuki by TAS] +3.323sec; 3 Ben Wilson [Kawasaki] 10.014; 4 Luke Stapleford [Kawasaki] 10.077; 5 Luke Mossey [Triumph] 13.678; 6 Daniel Cooper [Triumph] +16.282.
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