The new knockout qualifying system has received a resounding thumbs up from riders and teams alike after getting its first run out at Cadwell Park.
Intended to keep things exciting for spectators, the new format achieved that aim by ensuring the bikes were on the circuit at all times and while the final results differed little from what was expected, there was still a frantic amount of movement on the timesheets.
Resulting in Tom Sykes claiming his second pole position of the season, the Rizla Suzuki rider admits that he can see exactly why organisers have decided to adopt the Formula 1-style format.
“I am the first rider and we are the first team to get pole position with this new format,” he told Crash.net Radio
. “The format is quite exciting. I can see why the organisers have chosen this route because it certainly livens things up for the spectators.”
“The new qualifying format was a breath of fresh air for riders, the team and fans,” Rizla team manager Jack Valentine added. “It certainly kept us on our toes and I think it was really exciting, I hope it continues for the rest of the season.”
Indeed, most of the leading riders were especially happy with the new system as it allows them to produce consistently quick lap times at the crucial stage without traffic becoming an issue.
“The new qualifying system is good,” Leon Haslam said. “I got through, which is the main thing, and I didn't get caught out by the short time slots, while the last ten minutes is really exciting. It is great without the traffic because it is one of the biggest problems we have at other circuits, so if you do get through to the top ten shootout, then it is a good system.”
As the most experienced rider on the grid, Michael Rutter is better placed than most to give his opinion on the new format, but while he finds it a positive new concept, he does wonder what it will be like on small circuits, especially if it rains.
“It is quite exciting when you are going round,” he added. “It makes the end of the session a bit clearer so you can have a proper go. There may be a problem with smaller circuits though. It'll be hard work when it is rainy too because it could be dangerous if everyone is pushing for a good lap. If the weather is fine then it'll be good, but if not, it could be a bit scary.”