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Snetterton 300: BSB prepares for belated Superpole qualifying debut

The MCE British Superbike championship is gearing up for the new qualifying format introduced for 2016 with the debut of a Superpole shootout.
The MCE British Superbike championship is gearing up for the new qualifying format introduced for 2016 with the debut of a Superpole shootout.

Qualifying retains its three sessions from last year, with the top 30 riders from free practice heading into an 18 minute Q1, which will decide the quickest 18 riders to progress into a 12-minute Q2 session with the top nine going into the Q3 shootout.

The nine pole position fighters will get a single hot lap on their own to determine their spot on the front three rows, with the pressure of one mistake being the difference from pole position to ninth place.

The new format has previously been used by World Superbikes while Formula E and the World Touring Car Championship currently adopt the format, albeit with five into the shootout rather than nine.

With very few riders on the BSB grid having experienced the format it has generated interest and some are welcoming it with open arms as it will prevent any riders from gaining tows or following one another.

Unfavourable weather conditions prevented the debut of Superpole at either of the opening two rounds at Silverstone or Oulton Pak, while Brands Hatch Indy and Knockhill were considered too short circuit lengths to maximise the potential of the format.

Therefore, Snetterton had been pencilled in as the belated maiden running of the new qualifying format but prolonged rain could see it cancelled once again. BSB rules state the Superpole format will be pulled if there is a significant threat of rain, meaning the top nine will battle in a 12-minute timed session rather than the one lap blast.

After changeable conditions curtailed running in FP3 - the exact weather which would see Superpole cancelled - the weather forecast is positive for the 4pm qualifying slot with rain showers expected to finish by 2pm.
by Haydn Cobb


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