Josh Brookes came close to matching the Snetterton lap record as he claimed his second pole start in as many races ahead of Sunday's seventh round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at the Norfolk circuit.

The HM Plant Honda rider, who heads the title chase by four points from Tommy Hill, ran almost half a second faster than the Worx Crescent Suzuki rider in a hectic finale to the Swan Combi Roll for Pole.

Brookes, who had set the pace in the first two elements of grid deciding session, put in a best lap of 1m 04.803secs but Hill who had suffered electronic problems to his bike throughout thanked his team for rectifying them when it mattered most as he secured the all important front row start, albeit in the third slot.

Michael Rutter, the Knockhill race winner, separated them aboard his Ducati while former two times British Champion, and twice a Snetterton double race winner, Ryuichi Kiyonari ran fourth fastest.

James Ellison, underlining his returning to full fitness after breaking his thigh in practice for the second round at Thruxton back in April, headed the second row on the Swan Honda with a lap in 1m 05.337secs to be ahead of Relentless Suzuki riders Michael Laverty and Alastair Seeley and Gary Mason aboard the MSS Colchester Kawasaki.

Dan Linfoot, riding the Motorpoint Yamaha, and Buildbase Kawasaki's John Laverty completed the top ten qualifiers while Steve Brogan, riding the Jentin Yamaha, was the fastest of the BSB-EVO class riders, starting from the fifth row of the grid.

Note that the first of three races at Snetterton, to be held this (Saturday) afternoon, will use the grid order decided at Knockhill. The race has been carried over due to bad weather at the Scottish track.

Top ten qualifying times for Sunday's opening race:
1. Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) 1m:04.803s
2. Michael Rutter ( Ducati) +0.333s
3. Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +0.473s
4. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +0.524s
5. James Ellison (Swan Honda) +0.534s
6. Michael Laverty (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +0.574s
7. Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +0.676s
8. Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +0.708s
9. Dan Linfoot (Motorpoint Yamaha) +0.744s
10. John Laverty (Buildbase Kawasaki) +0.833s