Shane Byrne says he owes Honda Racing's Jason O'Halloran a big thank you after watching his out lap during Q3 which convinced him the track was dry enough to push on fresh dry tyres.

The reigning MCE British Superbike champion will start from pole position at Snetterton after finishing a rain-hit qualifying on top as his rivals faltered. Q2 was disrupted by a sudden downpour which made track conditions unpredictable entering the pole position shootout.

Byrne was one of the last riders from the top ten to venture out and says watching O'Halloran on his out lap helped him make the vital tyre choice.

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"I think in all honesty I owe a pat on the back to Jason [O'Halloran] as I watched him when the session started," Byrne explained. "It was clear everybody was going to have a go right at the end, then I saw these two guys [O'Halloran and Linfoot] both go out on brand new tyres and was asked whether I should use the tyres we had in Q2.

"I watched Jason's out lap and saw him immediately getting his knee down, not like he was in the dry, but the track wasn't as wet as we anticipated. I said lets go out on new tyres like everyone else and do our best."

The four-time BSB champion claimed his 35th career pole in the series and with his nearest rivals dispersed down to starting order (championship leader James Ellison 10th and Josh Brookes in 4th) Byrne has a golden opportunity from P1 at a circuit he claimed double victory at 12 months ago.

"We absolutely nailed it when it was as dry as it was going to be. I thought 'right try and save it for the very last' and went over the line with about five seconds to spare," he added. "I didn't know I'd got pole until I came in but I'm pleased that I am for my PBM Kawasaki team."

Despite leading both Friday practice sessions and grabbing pole position at the Norfolk track the PBM Kawasaki rider feels he is still a distance off where he wants to be at this point in the race weekend.

"We've had a bit of a strange weekend so far," Byrne said. "My team is always 100% faultless but the bike has thrown some spanners in the works so far and we've not done anywhere near the number of laps we've wanted to so far.

"Fortunately for us the bike went well at the test, although it is quite a lot different now, with some of the new components we are trying to introduce over the race weekend, which is always difficult. The team has done a great job to get on the front row with the two Hondas so we are quite happy."