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Buildbase BMW's Ryuichi Kiyonari convincingly claimed pole position for Sunday's opening MCE British Superbike race at Silverstone to land the first blow ahead of the penultimate Showdown round.

The Japanese rider put in an impressive lap in 2m 10.141s to hold off main title rival Shane 'Shakey' Byrne by around eight tenths of a second.

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Final qualifying began in the wet but conditions were dry for Q3 and it was Kiyonari who had the bit between his teeth on the S1000RR, who is locked in battle with Byrne for a record fourth BSB crown.

Gary Mason on the Tsingtao WK Kawasaki produced a stunning ride to take third place on the front row ahead, with row two completed by Halsall Kawasaki's Jon Kirkham, Josh Brookes on the Milwaukee Yamaha and James Westmoreland on the second of the Buildbase BMW machines.

Tommy Bridewell came off at the beginning of Q3 at Farm and will start the first race from tenth place on the grid.

Showdown Title Fighter Chris Walker, James Ellison on the GBmoto Kawasaki and Quattro Plant Kawasaki's Dan Linfoot fill out the third row.

Brookes had set the pace in Q2 but was outdone at the end by Kiyonari and Byrne, while Tyco Suzuki pair Josh Waters and John Hopkins failed to progress to Q3. The pair will start from 12th and 16th respectively in race one on Sunday.

It was Byrne who topped the chart in the wet Q1 session from Assen winner Waters, with Kiyonari holding his own in third place.

Riders who failed to progress to Q2 included Peter Hickman, Ben Wilson, Martin Jessopp and Patric Muff.