Rizla Suzuki's John Reynolds and Karl Harris will both start from the front row for tomorrow's ninth round of the British Superbike Championship at Thruxton, Hampshire.

The factory Suzuki riders pulled out all the stops to put their GSX-R1000 race bikes into second and fourth places on the grid respectively. It is the first time both Rizla Suzukis have qualified on the front row. It is also the first time Harris has broken into the first four in qualifying.

Reigning British Supersport Champion Harris was delighted with fourth place after missing the last three months due to a broken left wrist that he sustained at Oulton Park in May. And it took the fastest ever two-wheel lap around the bumpy 2.356-mile Thruxton circuit by Ducati's Michael Rutter to deny Reynolds pole position.

The Suzuki riders are benefiting this weekend from the work the Rizla Suzuki team put into developing the GSX-R1000 during the five-week long summer break. New suspension parts along with revised engine internals have helped the production-based Suzuki to find extra speed and the whole team is buzzing with expectation.

Both Suzuki riders posted their fastest laps of the weekend during Superpole. Ducati's Rutter recorded a lap time of 1m 15.531s to take pole position - more than three tenths of a second under the outright lap record. The first Superbike race starts at one-o'clock tomorrow and will be run over 22-laps.

"That was a good lap, just the way it should be," commented Reynolds. "I had one or two slides and could have gone a bit quicker, but overall I have to be happy with it. Before Superpole we took out some fork oil to give the front suspension more movement and tried it out in the warm-up. We have a few more things to try in tomorrow's warm-up that will hopefully help our race pace. We are starting from the right place to challenge for the wins tomorrow."

"I had a few slides on my Superpole lap but it was still very fast", added Harris. "To get on the front row at my first attempt after being off the bike for a few months is great. My wrist is good, but not back to full strength just yet. After being off the bike so long, I can't wait for tomorrow and the race, but I'll have to see how things go with my wrist and see what happens. We spent some time this morning working on the rear suspension as it was too uncontrolled through the corners. My mechanics softened the compression a bit and it solved the problem."

Paul Denning - Team Manager - concluded: "We have to be happy with that. I'm really pleased for Karl. On his first time back to racing he has got onto the front row and has shown everybody his true guts and determination. His wrist isn't completely right just yet, but in typical Karl Harris fashion you can count on him giving his everything."

"John's lap was fantastic and despite making a few mistakes he still took second on the grid and was only beaten by the fastest ever time by a motorcycle around the track. This is where the Rizla Suzuki team should be and deserves to be. We have good starting positions for tomorrow and we also have a few things to try in the morning warm up to try and increase tyre grip over the race distance."

Suzuki Racing round-up:

- John Crockford led Suzuki's domination of the National Superstock Championship and shaved a half-second off the lap record in the process when he claimed pole position today.

Suzuki's GSX-R1000 took the top 9 places in qualifying, with TT hero David Jefferies in second and title contender Chris Burns in third.

Qualifying Result: 1: John Crockford (Suzuki) 1:18.017, 2: David Jefferies (Suzuki) +0.428, 3: Chris Burns (Suzuki) +0.645.

- Jeremy Goodall was the leading Suzuki in today's National Supersport Championship qualifying, taking fifth place and a second row starting position.

Qualifying Result: 1: Simon Andrews (Honda) 1:19.121, 2: Scott Smart (Honda) +0.188, 3: Stuart Easton (Ducati) +0.424.

- Suzuki took the top three places in the National Junior Superstock Championship final qualifying. Thomas Sykes took pole position on his GSX-R600 ahead of title rivals Cal Crutchlow and Craig Jones.

Qualifying Result: 1: Thomas Sykes (Suzuki) 1:21.238, 2: Cal crutchlow (Suzuki) +0.340, 3: Craig Jones (Suzuki) +0.459.

 

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