Hawk Kawasaki's Glen Richards fired in a superb 1:32.735 Superpole lap to earn himself a fifth-placed start for Sunday's double bill of Superbike racing at Oulton Park. His team-mate Mark Burr did well to maintain his 16th place on the grid in the face of some stiff competition, clocking a 1:34.764 time in the Dunlop-sponsored single lap competition.

Richards admitted that he had been struggling throughout the timed qualifying sessions, but his hard work paid off when he leapt six places up the grid in Superpole. He only missed out on a front row start by one hundredth of a second.

"It all came down to that lap," said the 28-year-old Australian. "I knew that I'd put in a good one and I'm really glad that it got me so far up the order. I wasn't happy with where I was after qualifying but I still couldn't watch the timing screens towards the end of Superpole, because I knew how close it was going to get at the top. The pace at which the fast guys are riding this season is incredible and to be able to give those much bigger bikes a run for their money is a testament to the strengths of the Hawk Kawasaki ZX-7RR, as well as to the quality of the work that the team has put into the bikes."

Mark Burr's burning desire to succeed may have made the goal that he has set himself of a top ten finish at Oulton Park a little harder to achieve. The 21-year-old Hawk Kawasaki rider stated that he had been "trying too hard" during qualifying and as a consequence, his Superpole lap was less than perfect.

"I made a few mistakes on that lap," conceded Burr. "I got Old Hall Corner wrong and that messed up my rhythm for the next three corners. I'm a little bit disappointed but the standard of competition is so high at the moment that just getting into Superpole is an achievement in itself. They're going to be long races tomorrow and that means that I'll be able to pick up a few places along the way. A top ten finish is still within my grasp."



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