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Hill holds on for Knockhill pole

Tommy Hill stays upright as others fall around him to secure pole position at rainy Knockhill.
Tommy Hill has taken pole position for the fifth round of the MCE British Superbike Championship after keeping his calm in an eventful qualifying session at Knockhill.

With rain continuing to hamper proceedings around the Scottish venue, several riders suffered tumbles over the course of the full session, including Shane Byrne, Josh Brookes, Loris Baz, Alex Lowes and Chris Walker.

However, Hill maintained a good pace to reach the final Superpole phase, before snatching pole position with the only lap time to dip below 53secs.

It was enough to edge out John Hopkins on the Samsung Crescent Suzuki, while Gary Mason produced his best-ever qualifying performance for MSS Colchester Kawasaki with a fine run to third. Michael Rutter completed the front row, the experienced Ducati rider bouncing back from a difficult time in free practice.

Croft winner Jon Kirkham made it a good day for the Crescent team in fifth position, ahead of Brookes, who held down sixth despite crashing out. He was ahead of Glen Richards on the WFR Honda, the Australian impressing to get his EVO machine well inside the top ten.

James Westmoreland was the best of the two Motorpoint Yamaha riders in eighth, though tenth place Baz could only manage a quick lap right at the end of the session after crashing in SP2. The pair were split by championship leader Byrne, who fell with five minutes remaining.

Michael Laverty and Ryuichi Kiyonari were notable absentees from the top ten in 11th and 12th, while Lowes's hopes of a pole position repeat were scuppered by his crash, leaving him down in 17th.

Behind Richards, Simon Andrews will start second in the EVO class, ahead of Graeme Gowland, James Hillier and Jake Zemke, who did a fine job to reach SP2, edging out Peter Hickman, the fallen Walker and Martin Jessopp.



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