RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki’s Jake Dixon will start from pole position for tomorrow’s opening race of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship Showdown at Oulton Park after setting the fastest ever lap of the Cheshire circuit, whilst his title rival Leon Haslam will start from the back of the grid.
The afternoon was filled with drama for the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team as standings leader Haslam suffered a terminal technical problem which forced him out of action and to push the bike back to pitlane and sit out of the remainder of the session, meaning he will start last and 24th on the grid for race one.
Then in the Q2 session it was fellow Showdown contender Peter Hickman who missed the cut for the final pole position shootout and the Smiths Racing BMW rider will start 12th on the grid in race one.
The final Q3 stage got underway with Dixon setting the benchmark to set the first lap time in the 1m:33s lap time this weekend, but the session was red flagged when Danny Buchan crashed out at Island, and the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki rider was able to walk away. He will start ninth on the grid for tomorrow’s opening race.
The session restarted and Dixon wasn’t done; he upped the pace again to set his fastest ever lap of Oulton Park to hold off the opposition and Josh Brookes looked set to join him on the front row.
However a flurry of last lap dashes put Tommy Bridewell on the front row for the first time with Moto Rapido Ducati with Luke Mossey completing the top three on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki.
Brookes was nudged back onto row two ahead of Showdown rival Glenn Irwin and Richard Cooper who led the Buildbase Suzuki charge to start sixth on the grid ahead of team-mate Bradley Ray and Tarran Mackenzie.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Datatag Qualifying:
- Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) 1m:33.758s
- Tommy Bridewell (Moto Rapido Ducati) +0.399s
- Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.450s
- Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha) +0.520s
- Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.657s
- Richard Cooper (Buildbase Suzuki) +0.812s
- Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +0.862s
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +1.359s
- Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +2.111s
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(RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki)
“To be fair I have always felt good around Oulton Park and the RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki works well here. I said to the boys I felt good, so I got myself in some clear space and then the times just seemed to come. I pushed in the area which was slightly damp, but could see it was dry enough to have a go and I was so happy with that.
“We went out the second time and the my crew chief Glen said go and ride around and see what everyone else is doing and everyone went out and I just hung off the back again. I didn’t try to start with and then I did the fast lap, but I can’t thank the team enough as they put it all together I just pull the throttle back!
“It is tomorrow that counts so hopefully we can have two good races. I am not thinking about Leon to be honest; it is his to lose and I am just focusing on what I need to do.”