Shane Byrne has produced the fastest-ever lap around Brands Hatch GP for pole position at his home circuit, while Leon Haslam has tipped off late on in Q3 to be shuffled back to fourth in qualifying.

The defending BSB champion needs to overhaul a 33-point deficit on Haslam, while he is also one point off of Josh Brookes, and has started strongly by topping all three free practice sessions before storming to a dominant pole position with a new fastest-ever lap at the Kent circuit with a 1m 24.163s.

Byrne set his provisional pole time with his opening flying lap in Q3 and kept clear of his rivals by over half a second for pole, with Brookes’ late improvement taking second spot off of Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon.

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BSB championship leader Haslam looked set for a front row start for race one until he tipped off at Druids on his final qualifying lap which ended his session early and saw him slip to fourth with Brookes moving up to second. Jason O’Halloran grabbed fifth on the grid for race one on his Honda ahead of team-mate Dan Linfoot with James Ellison taking seventh for McAMS Yamaha – while Jake Dixon completed the Q3 runners in eighth for RAF Reserves Kawasaki.

John Hopkins on the Moto Rapido Ducati was unable to set a timed lap in Q3 after falling early in the session at Paddock Hill Bend which forced an early red flag stoppage. The former MotoGP rider was transported to the medical centre via ambulance and has been diagnosed with a fractured vertebra and two fractured knees.

In Q2, Hickman narrowly missed out on the pole position shootout by 0.039s for Smiths Racing BMW and will start from 10th on the grid just ahead of Assen race two winner Sylvain Guintoli on the Bennetts Suzuki and Michael Laverty on the second McAMS Yamaha machine.