Glenn Irwin claimed his first pole position in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch this afternoon, launching the Be Wiser Ducati to the top of the times to hold off Josh Brookes in an incredibly close Datatag Qualifying.
Irwin had topped yesterday’s free practice sessions and set the initial benchmark in Q3 after the first round of fast laps with Luke Mossey, Christian Iddon and Richard Cooper in close contention, but a hectic final stage of qualifying saw positions change throughout.
Tarran Mackenzie leapt into second place for the McAMS Yamaha team but then Jake Dixon moved ahead, but in the closing minutes Brookes fired in a faster lap and he moved into second place and just 0.081s adrift of the pole position.
The battle was on for the final place on the front row, but it was just 0.001s that settled it with Dixon having the edge to push Mackenzie back onto the second row ahead of Leon Haslam and Luke Mossey on the JG Speedfit Kawasakis.
Christian Iddon heads the third row for Tyco BMW ahead of Andrew Irwin who got caught out in the final minute of the session to crash at Paddock Hill Bend unhurt with Richard Cooper completing the top nine riders in Q3.
It will be a tough start for Tommy Bridewell on his debut with the Moto Rapido Ducati team; a crash at the start of qualifying saw him out of contention in Q1 and starting from 26th on the grid for tomorrow’s opening race. James Ellison also slid out of contention in Q2, putting the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha rider 18th on the grid.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Datatag Qualifying:
Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) 1m:24.628s
Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha) +0.081s
Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) +0.140s
Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +0.141s
Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.178s
Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.505s
Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.571s
Andrew Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.632s
Richard Cooper (Buildbase Suzuki) +0.696s
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