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James Westmoreland has given his hopes of beating team-mate Jon Kirkham to the sixth and final British Superbike Title Showdown spot a major boost by claiming his maiden pole position at Donington Park.
Westmoreland is currently embroiled in an intense fight for a place in the Showdown, the Buildbase BMW rider just five points behind his team-mate Kirkham with only two races left to decide the six riders that will progress to the upcoming three-round shootout.
With this in mind, Westmoreland came out fighting in qualifying at Donington Park, making it into SP3 as only the fifth fastest qualifier before unleashing an outstanding lap record of 1min 29.726secs when it mattered.
The first qualified pole position for BMW in the British Superbike series too, Westmoreland was one of just two riders to crack 1min 30secs, with Cadwell Park double winner Alex Lowes a comfortable two tenths behind on the Samsung Honda.
Though not confirmed in the Title Showdown as yet, James Ellison – who scored his maiden BSB win at Donington Park in 2009 – needs just a handful of points to confirm the inevitable and is well positioned on the front row in third.
Shane Byrne and Josh Brookes get underway from fourth and fifth respectively, while Tommy Bridewell – who suffered a fall at Goddards - and Chris Walker will start sixth and seventh in their quest to overhaul Kirkham ahead.
PJ Jacobsen starts eighth on the second of the Tyco Suzukis, with Kirkham facing an uphill struggle to contain his rapid team-mate from ninth position on the grid. Jakub Smrz rounds out the top ten on the Padgetts Honda.
Like Ellison, Ryuichi Kiyonari needs just a few points to firm his place in the Title Showdown, though the former champion did his cause little good by qualifying a relatively lowly 12th, behind Josh Waters.