Hill cruises to Oulton Park pole

Tommy Hill claims pole position at Oulton Park by half a second, ahead of Shane Byrne, Josh Brookes and the ever-improving Noriyuki Haga.
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Tommy Hill has sent out a warning signal to his rivals ahead of this weekend's MCE British Superbike Championship triple-header at Oulton Park after cruising to a second consecutive pole position.

The reigning champion was in charge throughout the knockout phases as he headed both S1 and S2, session-topping times that alone would have been good enough to secure pole position regardless.

Nonetheless, Hill would proceed to go faster when it mattered, his lap time of 1min 35.606secs on the Swan Yamaha proving half a second quicker than his closest rivals.

That competition came in the form of Shane Byrne, who put the Rapid Solicitors' Kawasaki in second position, while Thruxton winner Josh Brookes ran him a close third after making a late improvement on the Tyco Suzuki.

Joining the trio on the front row will be Noriyuki Haga, whose promising practice pace transferred seamlessly to qualifying on the way to claiming comfortably his best starting position of the season in fourth.

Similarly impressive was Tommy Bridewell, whose rapid progress on the Supersonic BMW saw him claim fifth on the grid, marking the highest ever start for a S1000RR at BSB level. He will be flanked by Alex Lowes, Jon Kirkham and Michael Laverty, the latter getting out on track late after problems developed with his Samsung Honda.

Also making it through to the top ten shootout, but failing to crack the front two rows, was championship leader Ian Lowry in ninth and Chris Walker in tenth aboard the Pr1mo Kawasaki.

Elsewhere, Dan Linfoot starts 11th for Buildbase Kawasaki, ahead of 12th place Stuart Easton, Michael Rutter and Graeme Gowland, while anticipated pole contender Alastair Seeley is down in 20th after crashing at Cascades without setting a time in S2.

Nonetheless, the Tyco Suzuki rider has a chance to make amends immediately when he lines up on pole position for the first race of the weekend this afternoon. A race that was rescheduled for Oulton Park after it was abandoned on safety grounds at Brands Hatch last month, Seeley starts from the front alongside Kirkham, Brookes and Gary Mason.

Hill, meanwhile, will be hoping his qualifying speed will help him in the race as he starts down in a lowly 19th as a consequence of his difficult outing at Brands Hatch.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Tommy Hill Swan Yamaha - [picture credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Hill Swan Yamaha - [picture credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Hill Swan Yamaha - [picture credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Hill Swan Yamaha - [picture credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Hill    [Credit David Salisbury]
Tommy Hill Swan Yamaha - [picture credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Hill Swan Yamaha - [picture credit: Ian Hopgood]
Jake Dixon, RAF Reserves Kawasaki [Credit: MSV BSB Media]
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]

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