News 3 May 2010

BSB: Hill on Oulton pole, Australian favourite Brookes fourth

Worx Crescent Suzuki’s Tommy Hill left it until the final seconds of the Swan Combi Roll for Pole British Superbike Championship qualifying session at Oulton Park to take his second pole position of the season after stealing the top time from Swan Honda’s Stuart Easton on Sunday afternoon.

Hill edged out Easton by just 0.394 to claim the pole position whilst Michael Rutter stayed third fastest to claim his second front row start of the season for the Ducati team with HM Plant Honda’s Josh Brookes completing the front row.

“I am over the moon, as I messed up one of my laps and didn’t want to settle for it so I just went out there and put another lap in,” Hill commented. “To be totally fair it has been a tough weekend so far but the Worx Crescent Suzuki boys have worked hard especially after my crash, but I just need to keep chipping away and keep my championship lead tomorrow.”

Australian Brookes admits it was a tough Swan Roll for Pole qualifying session for him at Oulton Park this afternoon, but now he feels determined to up the pace ahead of the two races tomorrow.

Brookes was running outside the top ten during qualifying two, but following one final shot in qualifying two put him eighth on the times and able to move through to qualifying three and the final shootout for pole position.

In qualifying three, Brookes left it until the final minute of the session to move to the front row, but he believes a few further tweaks in the morning will make all the difference for the races.

“That was a bit of a tough qualifying session for me and to be honest I am a little bit surprised to have qualified on the front row as there was one point that I thought it might not happen,” Brookes said.

“I just went out and knew I would have to do a good lap, so I gave it hell and we really stepped it up in the final minutes to put me fourth. I think our pace is consistent; we just need to find that little bit extra in warm up tomorrow before the races. I know we are in the ball park and just one thing could make all the difference so we will see what we can do tomorrow.”

CAME Yamaha’s Billy McConnell completed a hat-trick of pole starts in the Fuchs-Silkolene British Supersport Championship at Oulton Park after setting a blistering pace to hold off the challenges of Graeme Gowland.

The Aussie was quickly up to speed when it mattered most in qualifying after suffering a technical problem earlier in the weekend, charging back into contention and putting his CAME Yamaha on top of the times with a lap in 1:37.975 set in the first of the two sessions.

“That’s three pole starts from as many races, but so far no race wins so I’m going all out here to set the record straight,” McConnell said. “The team have put my head back into gear and with the new K-Tech suspension system we have really been able to up the pace. I now just need to keep the advantage and go out there and get a win so I can close the gap to Westy.”

Gowland was second fastest on the PTR Honda, upping his pace in the second session to be just 0.402 adrift of McConnell, and a split second up on championship leading James Westmoreland aboard the second CAME Yamaha.

As for the remaining Aussies, Paul Young completed the front row for the Oxford TAG Triumph team, former champion Glen Richards will be heading up the third row in ninth, and Jason O’Halloran on the second Oxford TAG Triumph was tenth in the session but he crashed heavily at Cascades which brought out the red flag with just over a minute remaining.

The Oulton Park races are held on Monday.

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