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Brookes sneaks pole by 0.001secs

26 May 2012

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Josh Brookes has edged his second pole position of the 2012 MCE British Superbike Championship season after holding off Michael Laverty by 0.001secs at a scorching Snetterton.

With track temperatures pushing over 40 degrees, the battle for pole position would come down to whoever could handle their bike in the unusually hot conditions.

In the end, Brookes's early SP3 effort of 1min 48.490secs would prove just enough to keep Laverty at bay, the Ulsterman nonetheless producing his most convincing performance on the Honda CBR1000RR since switching to the Samsung-backed team.

Tommy Hill, pole sitter at Thruxton and Oulton Park, was forced to make do with third position aboard the Swan Yamaha, though he too remains well in contention just three hundredths adrift of the top two.

Picking up fourth position was Graeme Gowland, the WFR Honda rider keeping his team-mate Alex Lowes at bay to qualify on the front row for the first time in his burgeoning BSB career.

Steady improvements over the course of the weekend would see Noriyuki Haga secure a respectable sixth position on the grid, ahead of Rapid Solicitors' Kawasaki pairing Shane Byrne and Stuart Easton in seventh and eighth.

Heading up the third row will be Luca Scassa aboard the best of the Padgetts Hondas, while Tommy Bridewell saw his hopes of a front row start dashed by a crash at Montreal just seconds into the SP3 session. The Supersonic BMW rider will nonetheless start tenth.

Further back, there was disappointment for Ian Lowry, who came into qualifying as one of the favourites for pole position having been a consistent top four figure during free practice. However, an off at Montreal during SP2 would consign him to the second-half of the field in 19th, ahead of Buildbase BMW's Dan Linfoot, who also suffered an off.

Further up, James Westmoreland was 11th after being nudged out by a late lap by Scassa, the WFR Honda rider starting ahead of Jon Kirkham and the sole MSS Bathams Kawasaki of Michael Rutter. Still recovering from his mammoth off in FP2, Alastair Seeley will start 15th, ahead of Oulton Park race winner Chris Walker.


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