Steve Hislop goes into the penultimate round of the Motor Cycle News British Superbike Championship at Mallory Park tomorrow (15 September) knowing that he can clinch the crown by taking a third winning double of the season.

However the 40 year old Scot knows that nothing will be easy after an amazing Superpole lap by local favorite Michael Rutter.

The Renegade Ducati rider, who lives in the village of Kirkby Mallory, dominated qualifying and sealed his fifth pole start of the season with an inch-perfect performance around the 1.35 mile Leicestershire circuit that clipped almost a full second off the lap record.

The pressure was on Rutter as he started his only flying lap against the clock. Hislop had clocked a remarkable time of 46.692s, faster at the point than anyone else in the circuit's history, but Rutter was more than equal to the challenge, upping the tempo and recording a time of 46.584s, an average speed of 105.87mph.

Rutter, currently third in the standings, has a mathematical chance of taking the crown. But he knows that even if he wins the remaining races, his destiny rests with the fortunes of the two riders ahead of him and they would have to not score points in at least one of the races.

MonsterMob rider Hislop, who leads the Championship by 56 points ahead of Virgin Mobile Aiwa Yamaha's Sean Emmett has none of those worries. Although Hislop is taking nothing for granted, he was ahead at the corresponding stage last season, but a crash not only put him out of that race, but also cost him the Championship.

"There is still a job to be done - the Championship has to be won and I am going out there to win races," said Hislop, who so far has won seven races this season. Starting alongside him on the front row of the grid are Shane Byrne and John Reynolds.

Emmett, set a time of 47.426s and was fifth fastest and starts the races he must win to keep his title hopes alive from the second row of the grid.

 

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