Hawk Kawasaki's home round campaign got off to a strong start in qualifying at Mallory Park.

In a record-breaking Superpole session that saw Michael Rutter clock the fastest-ever lap of the 1.3 mile circuit on his way to pole position, Glen Richards earned himself a sixth-placed start for Sunday's two Superbike races.

Richards' Hawk Kawasaki team-mate Mark Burr also gained entry to the Dunlop-sponsored single lap contest and managed to maintain his timed qualifying position of 15th on the grid.

Richards remained on impressive form throughout the day's qualifying action at his local circuit. The Hinckley resident had been on target for a front row start after posting the fourth fastest time of the day in the second timed session. His best time of 47.261 was well inside the existing lap record and it was only a tiny error on his Superpole lap that finally dropped him onto the second row.

"I was definitely on for a front row start," explained Richards. "I put in a good lap, except that I ran wide at the Esses. But then again, that's all it takes at Mallory - the circuit is so short that qualifying is always decided by thousandths of a second. I reckon that I dropped two tenths of a second at the chicane and with that two places. However, it's not that big a deal because I've got a great set-up on the Hawk Kawasaki and a Dunlop race tyre that I'm very happy with."

Mark Burr did well to hold onto his grid position, despite the furious pace at which Superpole was run.

"I messed my Superpole lap up a little bit," admitted the 21-year-old Darlington-based rider. "When I'm just trying to go fast, I take a different line through the Esses to the one that I would use in the race. I think I just ended up going into the hairpin a little too hot, which made me run wide and lose my rhythm through the Bus Stop and Devil's Elbow. I've got a bit of work to do on Sunday, but the Hawk Kawasaki is performing perfectly and I'm confident that I can make up some places once the lights go green."



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