Rizla Suzuki's John Reynolds on a GSX-R1000 qualified in third place for tomorrow's sixth round of the British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch in Kent - his favourite track.

The reigning Champion put in a faultless Superpole lap around the 2.6228 mile Grand Prix circuit to match his best qualifying position of the year so far. He was just 0.2 of a second away from taking his first pole position of the year.

The Nottingham-based rider is delighted to be starting from the front row at this track, where he scored an impressive World Superbike win in 2000. In April this year, the Suzuki rider recorded a new lap record when the British Superbike paddock raced on the smaller Brands Hatch Indy circuit.

Reynolds, smiling, talked about his Superpole lap: "That was one of those laps that I can't help thinking I should have tried harder. Everything was working fine with the bike and afterwards I thought I could have gone faster. Even if I had just opened the throttle a bit more on the home straight. A front row start is good for tomorrow and I'm sure I can go better in the race."

In free practice just before Superpole, Reynolds was leaning his GSX-R1000 over so far he was scraping the left-side of the fairing on the track surface, proving how hard he was trying, and his undoubted bike handling skill. His team mate, Italian Giovanni Bussei, struggled with his number one machine and missed much of the session. Bussei, standing in for the injured Karl Harris, who is recovering from a broken left wrist he sustained at Oulton Park last month, decided to ride his spare machine in Superpole. He eventually qualified 15th, more than a second off his fastest lap of the weekend.

Bussei noted: "With only one lap and a flying lap, it was difficult for me to get used to the bike and push hard in Superpole. But I have qualified and I am sure I can finish well inside the top 10 tomorrow."

Team manager Paul Denning concluded: "Giovanni is disappointed with 15th after consistently lapping more than a second faster in the earlier qualifying sessions. He used his spare bike for Superpole and even though it was using exactly the same settings as his other machine, it takes more than a lap to get comfortable on it and a feeling for its limits. I'm sure he'll do a lot better in the race tomorrow."

"John in third place only two-tenths down on pole position, proves he is regaining his confidence and is ready to compete for wins. He is in the top three on the grid and that's where he should be. Hopefully tomorrow he can repeat that and make the podium, he deserves it for his efforts."

Superbike final qualifying: 1: Sean Emmett (Ducati) 1:26.885, 2: Steve Hislop (Ducati) +.184, 3: John Reynolds (Rizla Suzuki) +.217, 4: Michael Rutter (Ducati) +.492, 5: Shane Byrne (Ducati) +.692, 6: Dean Thomas (Ducati) +.852, 7: Paul Brown (Ducati) +.909, 8: Gary Mason (Honda) +.984, 9: Glen Richards (Kawasaki) +1.300, 10: Steve Plater (Yamaha) + 1.305, 15: Giovanni Bussei (Rizla Suzuki) +2.141.

Suzuki Racing round-up:

- Formula 1 and Senior TT winner David Jefferies took pole position in the National Superstock class on his Suzuki GSX-R1000. National Superstock Championship

Final Qualifying: 1: David Jefferies (Suzuki) 1:30.088, 2: Chris Burns (Suzuki) +.557, 3: John Crockford (Suzuki) +.974.

- Tom Tunstall was the leading Suzuki rider in National Supersport qualifying - heading the second row and placing fifth on the grid.

National Supersport Final Qualifying: 1: Stuart Easton (Ducati) 1:32.302, 2: Scott Smart (Honda) +.125, 3: Simon Andrews (Honda) +.148, 5: Tom Tunstall (Suzuki) +.798.

- Suzuki riders Benjie Cockerill and Craig Jones took pole and third position in final qualifying for the National Junior Superstock class.

National Junior Superstock Final Qualifying: 1: Benjie Cockerill (Suzuki) 1:34.974, 2: James Buckingham (Yamaha) +.103, 3: Craig Jones (Suzuki) +.419

 

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