2011 British Superbike
Qualifying for the third round of the 2011 British Superbike Championship got underway in rainy conditions Saturday at Croft in North Yorkshire. But this didn’t stop Shane Byrne from posting the quickest lap of 1:20.069 to take the pole aboard the HM Plant Honda CBR1000RR.
Bryne, who has never won at Croft, just beat out Swan Yamaha’s Michael Laverty by 0.125 of second. Starting third will be the Frenchman Loris Bax on the Motorpint Yamaha YZF-R1. Taking the final spot on the front row is Rutter on the Rapid Solicitors Bathams Ducati.
Bryne will be looking to take advantage of the pole to increase his 11-point British Superbike lead over MSS Colchester Kawasaki rider Stuart Easton.
Shane Bryne (HM Plant Honda Superbike) says: “Pole is good, though a bit more by luck than judgement as the rain came when I was at the fastest part of the circuit,” said Byrne. “I had Michael Rutter in front of me and used him as a marker – I thought if he stays smooth, then fine, otherwise I would back off. He rode well so I kept on it.
“In the end it worked out fine, and the team has worked hard to sort a setting for the bike that suits this track which is mix of tight and fast flowing corners as well as bumpy. We want to get out there for wins as this is the home circuit of our sponsors HM Plant.”
Michael Laverty says: “I had topped the first two qualifying sessions and as I went out for my lap on the back part of the circuit there was a sprinkle of rain and I backed off and wasn’t committed enough to push for the pole time, so fair play to Shakey.”
James Westmoreland riding the Motorpoint Yamaha’s James Westmoreland starts the second row, lapping over a tenth of a second faster than Easton. Sorrymate.com Honda’s Dan Linfoot was seventh fastest ahead of Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha), who was defying the pain of his injured shoulder.
Samsung Crescent Suzuki’s John Hopkins starts from the third row in company with Tyco Honda rider Peter Hickman, Gary Mason on the MSS Colchester Kawasaki and Relentless Suzuki’s Josh Brookes.
Alex Lowes who leads the Mirror.co.uk BSB-EVO class was on the fourth row with reigning BSB Champion Ryuichi Kiyonari, who had a difficult time working with bike settings, sandwiched between him and his WFR Honda team-mate Glen Richards.
2011 Croft British Superbike Qualifying Results:
1.Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) 1m:20.069s
2. Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) +0.125s
3.Loris Baz (Motorpoint Yamaha) +0.195s
4.Michael Rutter (Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati) +0.749s
5.James Westmoreland (Motorpoint Yamaha) +0.871s
6.Stuart Easton (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +0.911s