Karl Harris has qualified in pole position on his Honda Racing CBR600RR for the first round of the British Supersport Championship at the Silverstone International circuit in Northamptonshire.

The 23-year-old benefited from a superb set-up on his new-for-2003 race machine to eclipse the remainder of the 36-strong Supersport field over the fast and exciting 2.252-mile track.

The Sheffield-based rider is delighted with the progress that Honda Racing has made during its pre-season test schedule and feels that he is reaping the rewards of his team's technical ability.

"It's all gone well so far this weekend because we worked so hard testing the new Honda Racing CBR600RR over the winter," he said. "We came here with a good base setting, which means that we haven't had to make many changes at all to set it up for Silverstone. The CBR600RR is such a good all-round package that it's going to be easy to ride at every circuit this season!

"I don't really have a race strategy. From experience, I've found that you can't predict the circumstances that occur in a Supersport race. So, I'll just go out there, ride my own race and see what happens. Also, this is just the start of things to come. It's important for me to get some points on the board. It's a long, 12-race championship, so it's more of a marathon than a sprint. The important thing is for me to relax overnight and remain completely focused for tomorrow."

Stuart Easton, Leon Haslam and Simon Andrews completed the front row. Honda's John Crockford, Michael Laverty and Mark Heckles completed sixth to eighth on the second row of the grid and will also come into the reckoning in what should be an epic 20-lap race, held between the two Superbike races.

Final qualifying - Top 10 - British Supersport Championship:

1. K. Harris Honda Racing 1m 30.063s
2. S. Easton Ducati 1m 30.135s
3. L. Haslam Ducati 1m 30.148s
4. S. Andrews Yamaha 1m 30.324s
5. T. Sykes Yamaha 1m 30.507s
6. J. Crockford Honda 1m 30.541s
7. M. Laverty Honda 1m 30.746s
8. M. Heckles Honda 1m 30.862s
9. A. Coates Honda 1m 30.970s
10. R. Frost Kawasaki 1m 31.230s

 

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