Riders dropping from Q1: 19th Martin Jessop, Josh Elliott 20th, Aaron Zanotti 21st, Andy Reid who unfortunately crashed 22nd, Taylor MacKenzie 23rd and Shaun Winfield 24th.
Riders dropping from Q2 and missing out on Superpole: Peter Hickman 10th, Bradley Ray 11th, Billy McConnell 12th, Michael Laverty 13th, Sylvain Guintoli 14th, Lee Jackson 15th, Tommy Bridewell 16th, James Westmoreland 17th and the unlucky John Hopkins who failed to record a lap due to a technical failure with his Ducati.
That left us with the top 9 riders to compete in the first Superpole of the year first up we had Luke Mossey setting a time of 1″47.335 a good time on a track that he has admitted isnt one of his favourites despite it being his home round, He was followed out by Jakub Smrz in what was already his best qualifying of the season the Czech man set a time of 1″48.163 rueing a few mistakes during the lap,The next rider up was still the badly beaten up Leon Haslam still suffering from the injuries he picked up at Knockhill he set a very respectable 1″47.120 a great time considering his physical condition.
Next up was the Honda of Dan Linfoot this was so far one of the best weekends he has had on the new Fireblade he managed a time of 1″48.117 he was followed out by his team mate Jason O’Halloran who had been the fastest man at the recent test held a Snetterton a couple of weeks ago he set an impressive time of 1″47.106. Jame Ellison was out next fresh of his first podium of the year at Knockhill the Yamaha man had looked fast in the practice sessions leading up to qualifying he set a time of 1″46.561 an amazing lap and the fastest lap ever round Snetterton for all of a few minutes.
Josh Brookes was next out the Austrailian saying earlier that he felt he was starting to get back the old R1 feeling he had when he won the title 2 years ago he set a time of 1″47.510 and in parc ferme was cleary annoyed at this time. Jake Dixon the double winner from Knockhill was the penultimate rider out and managed a lap time of 1″47.351 not quite able to match Ellison. Finally it was time for Shane Byrne he had been the man to beat leading up to qualifying and this didnt change as he set a truly jaw dropping lap of 1″46.024 to obliterate the field and stamp his authority on the weekend.
It was Shane Byrne who took a dominant win in the end after a slow start for the Ducati rider which left him fourth on lap one, The five time champion regrouped and carved his way to the front eventually taking the lead off James Ellison on lap five and from there he never looked back shortly after losing the lead however Ellison was forced to retire from the race severely denting his showdown hopes.
Josh Brookes who was very downbeat after qualifying looked more like his old self taking second place in the race he too had a slow start and was as low as sixth on lap one but just like Byrne carved his way through the field eventually inheriting second place after Ellison’s bike retired from there Brookes matched Byrne for lap times but never managed to close the gap.
The next man to step on the podium was the Honda of Jason O’Halloran he had qualified well but much like Byrne and Brookes struggled off the line making his way through the leading group he got himself up to third behind Ellison and Byrne early on, He was forced to run onto the grass when Ellison’s bike out out in front of him this allowed Brookes through and from there he had no answer for the front two. He was put under pressure by Leon Haslam late in the race but was determined to hold him off and secure the podium.
The Kawasakis of Haslam and Luke Mossey had contrasting races, Mossey who crashed in morning warm up totally destroying the bike meaning his team had to build him a brand new one for the race was forced to retire on due to suffering brake fade an unfortunate result for the championship leader. Mean while his team mate Haslam who was still feeling the effects of his knockhill crash managed a very respectable fourth place running in and around this for the entire race and even pushing O’Halloran for third on the final lap.
Dan Linfoot had a lonely race in fifth place never showing the pace of the front four riders but had more than enough to stay ahead of the battle for sixth between Jake Dixon, Peter Hickman, John Jopkins and the very impressive Bradley Ray, Dixon would eventually get the best of this battle finishing ahead of Hickman who just beat out Hopkins and Ray. Completing the top ten was Sylvain Guintoli not the best result for the former WSBK champion losing out to his less experienced team mate Ray Guintoli still doesnt seem to have got to grips with the new GSXR or the British circuits.
Other notable results were those of the TYCO BMW rookies Josh Elliott and Andy Reid both riders making their debuts in the class and their debuts on Superbikes Elliott brought home his 1000rr in fifteenth scoring a point on his debut and Reid finished a very respectable seventeenth both riders progressing alot in a short space of time.
Shane Byrne completed the double at Snetterton but was made to work a bit harder for it in race two, He managed a better start this time staying with the front group instead of dropping down the order he soon passed Jason O’Halloran to take third and remained there for a few laps before making a move on James Ellison as it looked like then race leader Josh Brookes was starting to break away, Brookes had lead the race from turn one and looked very comfortable at the front till with three laps to go Byrne made his move took the lead of the race taking the win from there both riders were under the race record during the race but it was Byrne who had the extra speed and tyre needed to take the win.
Ellison’s bad luck continued while running strong at the front for the majority of the race the Yamaha man dropped his bike in the final turn on lap eleven meaning another pointless weekend for him, Ellison’s crash left John Hopkins in third place but he was soon caught and passed by O’Halloran who came on strong towards the end of the race and brought home the fireblade for another podium. Knockhill double winner Jake Dixon came home in fourth place beating Hopkins out in the final turn on the final lap another strong weekend for the young rider to solidify his challenge for the top six showdown.
Completing the top ten for race two Peter Hickman continued his fine form in BSB finishing in sixth place ahead of Dan Linfoot who couldnt quite match his result of race one on his fireblade, Leon Haslam brought home his Kawasaki in eighth considering his injuries this weekend was all about damage limitations which he did, Sylvain Guintoli again finished in the top ten but way off the pace of the front he finished ahead of Luke Mossey who will be happy to see the back of Snetterton completing the worst weekend of his season with a tenth place.
Josh Elliott unfortunately was forced to retire an unfortunate end to his debut weekend on the superbike teammate Andy Reid brought his bike home to finish eighteenth a solid start to his BSB career.
Keep an eye out on here and my twitter @weephil56 I will have an interview going up tomorrow with BSB rider Michael Laverty please share this if you like what you read thanks