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Richard Cooper felt his provisional pole time was going to be incredibly tough to beat at Cadwell Park but was left astounded as both Leon Haslam and Shane Byrne pushed him to the back of the front row.
The Buildbase BMW rider had been consistently challenging at the sharp end during the free practice sessions at the Lincolnshire circuit and landed the provisional pole with his 1m 26.162s midway through Q3 in qualifying.
After feeling satisfied the time would be enough he saw both Haslam and Byrne jump ahead, with the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider taking pole position with an outright lap record while Byrne edged out Cooper by just 0.003s.
“The Buildbase BMW has been working fantastic all weekend and now when it counts for qualifying,” Cooper said. “I was confident for a good lap time in Q3 and put in a 1m 26.1s and thought if any of those boys can beat it they are welcome to pole. Typically, with BSB being one of the most competitive championships there is two of them who beat it.
The BSB race winner, who currently holds the final Showdown spot by five points from James Ellison and Luke Mossey, was still satisfied with third on the grid as it gives him a useful gap ahead of his key top six rivals.
“We are in good shape for tomorrow and we have got to consolidate the Showdown position. The boys I am battling with for it are a little bit further down,” he said. “We know what we need to do so we will continue with our rhythm so far and I am confident we will be there when it counts again tomorrow evening.”