Tom Sykes will start off the front row for the first time this season after seeing his outstanding World Superbike qualifying record receive a blip due to a crash in Superpole.
The Kawasaki rider was looking a strong favourite for an eighth pole position in ten meetings after topping the dry Q1 and Q2, but couldn't quite maintain that pace when the heavens opened and a wet Superpole was declared.
Indeed while he would have expected to fare better than his eventual eighth place, a crash early on at turn two would conspire to leave him at the bottom of the SP2 timesheets.
Despite the set-back, the home favourite remains confident that he has strong pace in either the wet or the dry regardless.
“It was a strange track today because yesterday in the wet initial grip felt better but today it felt greasy and it does not help when it is wet, dry, wet, and generally very inconsistent. We were unfortunate in Superpole but in the dry the bike is working well, so I feel confident.
“We put 15 laps in this morning in one go and I was on a personal best in the last of those laps, but then the rain came. So it was pleasing to see that we could have good pace so far into a simulated race. If it is a dry race day we should be OK.
“Superpole was wet and we have changed the balance of the bike quite a lot so we are having to learn and try to do things a bit differently, but when the track is not wet for long enough it limits our track time. It was unfortunate to fall in Superpole 2 but I had only put two laps on the tyre and I was just slowly trying to build up speed.
“Tomorrow is another day and we have good guys in the garage so we will make some improvements and hopefully things will be a bit more straightforward, especially with the weather.”
Similarly, team-mate Loris Baz was another to give the Kawasaki mechanics work to do after he barrelled out of SP1 at Woodcote, though he was still fast enough to go ninth on the grid, his best starting position since joining World Superbikes.
“I am confident for the race at Silverstone and we have been in the top ten most of the time in practice, no matter the conditions. That is another step forward for us. In my crash in Superpole I touched the white line a little. Not a big mistake but a big consequence.
“It is a shame but sometimes these things happen. We had a good pace in the wet and at least I did not crash pushing, just for a small mistake. We have a good pace for the race in dry or wet so I am confident for tomorrow. I do not care about the weather we have because we cannot change it!”