Jake Dixon claimed pole position for the RAF Reserves Kawasaki team with an inch perfect Superpole lap in Datatag Qualifying to win the one lap shootout for the first time at the high-speed Thruxton circuit in Hampshire.
The battle had been intense to make the top nine for the final stage of Datatag Qualifying but first up was John Hopkins who headed out for Superpole with the Moto Rapido Ducati team for the first time this season. The American set a benchmark time of 1m:15.670s, which was slower than his time in Q2.
Jason O’Halloran was next to be released for his flying lap and the Australian fired the Honda Racing Fireblade ahead by 0.171s to hit the top spot with defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne up next.
The Be Wiser Ducati rider went to the top of the times with his Superpole flying lap, but clearly frustrated, Byrne didn’t stay there for long as his rivals rolled out for their attack on a Superpole time.
Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon was ready to roll next and he moved ahead of Byrne by 0.413s to become the first rider to dip into the 1m:14s lap times in the final stage of qualifying – something that all nine of the Superpole riders achieved in Q2.
Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha’s Josh Brookes was next and the Australian had been the pace setter in the final free practice session this morning. Brookes fired himself ahead of his rivals by 0.524s with Iddon in second and Byrne in third place.
Smiths Racing BMW’s Peter Hickman has been in contention throughout free practice and he didn’t disappoint in Datatag Qualifying as he moved second and 0.401s adrift of Brookes who maintained the top position.
The sole JG Speedfit Kawasaki headed out on track in the hands of Leon Haslam as Luke Mossey remains sidelined after his free practice three crash, but it was a disaster for the ‘Pocket Rocket’ as he crashed out at the chicane unhurt leaving him ninth on the grid.
Dixon was the penultimate rider to head out for his flying lap and the RAF Reserves Kawasaki rider kept his cool to launch himself ahead of Brookes and Hickman with only Dan Linfoot left to take on Superpole.
Linfoot’s flying lap put him sixth on the timesheets ahead of tomorrow’s two races at Thruxton.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Thruxton, Datatag Qualifying result:
- Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) 1m:14.052s
- Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +0.204s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.605s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.728s
- Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +1.141s
- Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +1.216s
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +1.387s
- John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +1.618s
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
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RAF Reserves Kawasaki
“I have felt good all weekend to be fair from free practice. I have felt strong and we have been quick as the RAF Reserves Kawasaki is working really well.
“The team have done a fantastic job because the grip didn’t seem as much this afternoon, and I thought I could have done a lap time in the 1m:13s.
“I did muck up a sector but I still knew it was a good lap. I thought Josh was going to take it from me on his lap, but we have done our homework so hopefully we can have two good results tomorrow.”