Shakey steals pole from Hickman after intense Datatag Qualifying from Cadwell Park 1Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne will start from pole position in the opening MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race at Cadwell Park tomorrow (Sunday) after snatching pole position by just 0.081s from local contender Peter Hickman with Leon Haslam completing the front row.

The final stage of Q2 was a close fought affair as the battle for the top nine places, with Byrne in the drop zone in ninth place until his final lap. He got pushed to tenth in the final seconds by an improving Jason O’Halloran, but his last run was enough and he made it through to Q3. Byrne’s elevation knocked Josh Brookes outside of the top nine and he starts tenth for race one on the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha.

A frantic Q3 followed and as the riders hustled for positions, Hickman initially took the top spot ass Byrne then instantly moved ahead. It was a disastrous Q3 for Christian Iddon as he had to limp back to the pitlane after the chain came off the Tyco BMW; the team got him back out on circuit in time for one flying lap of the Lincolnshire circuit but his time, 0.883s adrift of Byrne’s put him ninth on the grid for tomorrow’s opening race.

Haslam was climbing the order meanwhile and the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider stormed into third place to complete the front row, just 0.193s ahead of Jake Dixon on the RAF Reserves Kawasaki with O’Halloran and Lee Jackson completing row two to give Smiths Racing BMW their best qualifying performance.

Dan Linfoot starts seventh on the second of the Honda Racing Fireblades after edging ahead of Andy Reid as the Tyco BMW rider qualified for the final stage of Datatag Qualifying for the first time and ended in eighth place.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Cadwell Park, Datatag Qualifying:

  1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 1m:26.265s
  2. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.081s
  3. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)  +0.115s
  4. Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +0.193s
  5. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +0.210s
  6. Lee Jackson (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.234s
  7. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +0.422s
  8. Andy Reid (Tyco BMW) +0.836s
  9. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.883s

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Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne
Be Wiser Ducati
“It’s really hard to say you’re struggling when you’re fastest! I think quite a few riders are struggling here this weekend. We changed the head angle between Q1 and Q2 – that’s something we’d never usually do unless you were at the start of a session or a test day – that’s how much we’re looking for feeling but even that didn’t work.

“My initial laps in Q2 weren’t that fast and we nearly got knocked out as we were making another little change before we put in the lap to get into Q3.

“I feel like a bit of a passenger on an Italian beast that doesn’t speak English! Cadwell Park isn’t the most forgiving of places at the best of times, so when you’re sat on top of something that you can’t talk to or make it do what you want, it’s frustrating.

“We’ll see how the races go. Starting from the front row is the best place to be, I’ll have to try my hardest to get a good start. Our pace is decent enough but I wish we could get a little bit of feeling or confidence from the front of the bike to be able to push to the next level.”

Josh Brookes and Hickman share historic victories for their teams at Thruxton