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Laverty pips Hill for maiden BSB pole
28 August 2011
Michael Laverty upset the form book somewhat by snatching his first-ever MCE British Superbike pole position at Cadwell Park, ahead of team-mate Tommy Hill.
The Swan Yamaha rider has started from the front row of the grid on five occasions this season and started from the front as a result of a fastest lap in the previous race, but has never qualified outright for pole position, unlike Hill who has started up front three times.
Indeed, having been fastest in the two dry free practice sessions of the weekend, Hill looked to be heading for a fourth pole position having set the early pace during SP3, but Laverty's final effort just as the chequered flag was dropped was enough to give him the upper hand by a mere tenth.
A boost for Laverty as he looks to confirm his place in the title shootout, he heads up Hill and Peter Hickman, the Tyco Honda rider putting in an excellent performance around his home circuit to secure both his and his team's first BSB front row.
Josh Brookes and Michael Rutter boosted their chances of making the shootout with a run to fourth and fifth on the grid, the latter well placed to overhaul Ryuichi Kiyonari – who currently holds the crucial sixth in the standings – after the Japanese rider could only manage 16th fastest.
Title contender Shane Byrne starts in sixth place as he goes into the weekend eyeing more podium credits, ahead of Jon Kirkham – another rider not out of the shootout reckoning -, top EVO rider Graeme Gowland, Martin Jessopp and Alex Lowes.
Outside the top ten, Gary Mason was another to suffer as he took 13th on the grid, while Tommy Bridewell starts his first race for Motorpoint Yamaha in 17th.
Qualifying at Cadwell Park decides the grid for the first race to take place on Bank Holiday Monday, with today's re-run of the Oulton Park event featuring a grid that has already been pre-determined. As such, Hill starts that race from pole position, ahead of Laverty and Brookes.
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