Jason O’Halloran has secured Honda Racing its first pole position with the new Fireblade after dominating qualifying at Silverstone ahead of the MCE British Superbike Showdown decider.

The Australian rider traded top times with James Ellison during Q1 and Q2 and duly converted his single lap pace in Q3 to go under the lap record with a 2m 04.988s. After setting the time early in the pole position shootout his BSB rivals closed the gap but were unable to take provisional pole off of the Honda rider with Jake Dixon pinching second on the RAF Reserves Kawasaki ahead of Ellison who completes the front row on the McAMS Yamaha.

Josh Brookes heads up row two on the Anvil Hire Yamaha in front of Leon Haslam on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki as Sylvain Guintoli produced his best qualifying result of the year with sixth place on the Bennetts Suzuki.

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Peter Hickman was shuffled to row three late on but remained ahead of John Hopkins on the Moto Rapido Ducati after he fell off on his opening fast lap in Q3, as Glenn Irwin was forced to sit out of the pole shootout due to an oil pressure issue with his Be Wiser Ducati.

Irwin’s late lap in Q2 knocked out team-mate and BSB championship leader Shane Byrne from making the pole position fight and starts 10th after struggling with out of balance wheels throughout qualifying.

Fellow BSB Showdown contenders Luke Mossey starts race one from 13th, after an amazing save after tucking the front of his JG Speedfit Kawasaki during Q2, with Friday timesheet topper Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) qualifying 14th.

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This is a bit of a turn up for the books. Jason's a superb rider and he and Linfoot have done an excellent job of turning the Honda into a proper race bike. How it manages over the full race distance is the big unknown of course, but Honda GB must be pretty happy to finally be on pole again.

The bike was only able to roll out of Honda Japan in March of 2017 when other manufacturers had already begun their work on their 2017 bikes in WSBK/IoMTT at the end of November 2016.  It needed development time and that's what it got in BSB.  WSBK issues are only down to Ten Kate switching to a crappy ECU that Yamaha used a year ago. They should switch to Magnetti Marelli ECU next season and get up to speed. 

Congratulations Jason O’Halloran & Honda Racing. I agree Ianisme, Jason is a superb rider. Best of luck to all racing this weekend.