Guintoli sweeps to BSB pole

Sylvain Guintoli will start from pole position on his British Superbike Championship debut at Brands Hatch after reeling off a series of unbeatable laps during qualifying.

The Frenchman was on magnificent form through each phase of qualifying, becoming the first – and only - rider to dip into the 45secs bracket during Q2, before repeating it in the top ten shootout.

Ominously for his rivals, Guintoli would proceed to set a further three consecutive lap times on his Worx Crescent Suzuki that would have been good enough to maintain pole position regardless.

Indeed, the ex-MotoGP rider would hit the front with his first effort of the ten minute session before putting in a number of laps just a few hundredths slower than his best attempt.

In the end, just over a tenth separated him from second place Steve Plater, who produced a fine performance on the HM Plant Honda just an hour after qualifying fourth for the Supersport race, while he was also forced to recover from an accident in Q1.

He will be joined on the front row by pre-qualification favourites Hydrex Honda, with Stuart Easton edging team-mate Karl Harris by a tenth of a second to put them in a good position for the race.

Despite taking the challenge to Guintoli during Q1 and Q2, Leon Camier had to settle for fifth position on the Airwaves Yamaha, three tenths behind pole position, although the team will be satisfied to see James Ellison up to seventh too following a few nervous moments during the knockout phases.

Glen Richards splits them in sixth, while Yamahas complete the top ten, Graeme Gowland marking his BSB debut with a fine eighth place, ahead of Motorpoint/Henderson team-mate Chris Walker. Jon Kirkham starts tenth after sneaking into the deciding session.

Prior to the top ten shootout, a handful of high profile riders were eliminated in the second phase of qualifying, including Michael Rutter, who was forced to settle for 13th after falling on the Cooper Straight.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sylvain Guintoli - Worx Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000
Sylvain Guintoli - Worx Crescent Suzuki [pic credit: Clive Challinor]
Sylvain Guintoli - Worx Crescent Suzuki [pic credit: Clive Challinor]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Luke Mossey, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Peter Hickman, Smiths BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Bridewell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Sylvain Guintoli, Bennetts Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Alastair Seeley, Tyco BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Lee Jackson, Smiths Racing BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Haslam, Byrne, Mossey, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

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