Michael Rutter became the fastest ever rider around the Thruxton circuit today as he smashed more than half a second off the record and claimed pole position for round nine of the British Superbike Championship.

The Leicestershire based rider, who is currently third in the standings, was inch perfect on his one lap against the clock recording a time of 1min 15.531secs, giving the Renegade Ducati rider an average speed of 112.29mph, around the 2.356mile Hampshire circuit.

"Starting from the front row is important here, pole is great - now I have to make the break and try to pull clear of the pack," said the road racing ace. "I'm just going out there to try and win as many races as possible and I'm not thinking about the title. There is a long way to go between now and the final round at Donington in September."

Starting alongside him on the front row of the grid is the reigning Champion John Reynolds, aboard the Rizla Suzuki, team-mate Shane Byrne and Rizla Suzuki rider Karl Harris, who returns after a lengthy lay off after sustaining multiple injuries in a crash at Oulton Park back in May.

The Championship leading duo of Steve Hislop and Sean Emmett start from the fourth and second row respectively. Emmett, who switched from the IFC Ducati Team to ride a Virgin Mobile Aiwa Yamaha R1, for the final five rounds of the Championship, was sixth fastest with a time of 1min 16.552secs, while Hislop, who defends an eleven points advantage, 280-269, over Emmett, was only ninth best.

The Scot complained of a lack of grip on his Superpole lap, recording a time of 1min 16.810secs, to start from the third row of the grid, his worst qualifying performance of his 2002 BSB campaign.

 

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