Michael Rutter powered to pole for the fourth round of the Motor Cycle News British Superbike Championship today (5th May 2002). The Kirkby Mallory based rider clipped a third of a second off the Oulton Park lap record and claimed his second consecutive pole.

The Renegade Ducati rider put in a superb lap to move from third place on the qualifying leaderboard, ahead of both his team-mate Shane Byrne, who starts the race from third place on the grid and the series leader Steve Hislop in second place.

Rutter scorched around the 2.76 mile Cheshire circuit in 1m 31.695s, with an average speed of 108.71mph to take a his second consecutive pole start: "I'm delighted as I didn't expect to beat Steve. I can't fault the Ducati anywhere on this circuit, I ran with race set-up and I'm feeling good for a repeat of my victory of the last round at Donington Park."

Hislop, who had set the pace in both qualifying sessions, wrestled twice with his MonsterMob Ducati as it slid under power on the his Superpole lap, however, the Flying Scot but set the second best time, 1m 32.197s to start ahead of his nearest Championship rival IFC Ducati rider Sean Emmett. Emmett is 23 points down in the standings.

Shane Byrne, who took his maiden victory in the previous round at Donington last weekend completes the front row. Defending Champion John Reynolds, who crashed heavily at Donington Park took another tumble during the morning session. The Nottingham based rider hit back to qualify his Rizla Suzuki sixth fastest alongside Paul Brown, Dean Thomas and Karl Harris on the second row of the grid.



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