Tommy Hill has taken pole position for the eighth round of the 2011 MCE British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch after fending off a challenge from John Hopkins.

The Swan Yamaha rider, who has already won four races this season, was in superb form during the top ten shootout as he pumped in an early lap of 1min 25.357secs.

Though Hopkins attempted to respond, he would fall half a tenth short of his title rival, the American - who started last weekend's World Superbike Championship round at Silverstone from pole position - settling for second place.

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Michael Laverty was also able to run the pair fairly close as he secured a front row spot in third place, while Kawasaki WSBK wild-card Joan Lascorz made significant gains between sessions to also book a place at the front of the field in fourth place.

Local favourite Shane Byrne starts in fifth place, ahead of the impressive Rapid Bathams Ducati pair of Martin Jessopp and Michael Rutter, the former scoring his best grid position of the year in sixth place.

James Westmoreland will start eighth on the sole Motorpoint Yamaha, while Gary Mason and Graeme Gowland round out the top ten, the latter doing an excellent job on the WFR Honda EVO machine to out-pace some fancied names.

These include, Broc Parkes, who starts 11th on the second of the factory Kawasakis and title showdown contenders Josh Brookes and Ryuichi Kiyonari, the pair enduring a difficult afternoon in 13th and 18th respectively.