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Shane Byrne has produced the best ever lap on a Superbike at Snetterton on his way to pole position on the Be Wiser Ducati as he laid down a marker to his MCE British Superbike rivals.

With the Superpole format used for the first time in 2017 - with the top nine riders getting one lap on their own to decide the front three rows - Byrne was challenged by the impressive provisional pole time of 1m 46.561s set by James Ellison on the McAMS Yamaha.

Byrne entered the Superpole session last having topped Q2 and knowing the time to beat blitzed the timesheet with a 1m 46.024s to pull out half a second on Ellison and go almost a full second faster than the previous best ever lap at Snetterton (1m 46.861s set by Josh Brookes in a 2015 in-season test for Milwaukee Yamaha).

The five-time BSB champion conceded he made two 'tiny mistakes' at the Wilson hairpin and the final corner Murrays on his Superpole lap but having extracted the maximum from his Ducati Panigale R over a single lap he was rightly thrilled with the time.

"From myself that was the maximum I could give," Byrne said. "I was told my lap from this morning was the fastest lap produced during a race weekend here and I have gone and smashed that by one second.

"I actually made a couple of tiny mistakes. A bit of a mistake at turn two ever so slightly and at the last corner I tried to be perfect but I just missed the apex every so slightly and got on the gas a little bit too hard and had a little bit of movement.

"I tucked in as hard as I could and saw from the lap time I did in Q2 that it was going to be a good lap so I crouched in for all I was worth for the 1m 46.0s.

"When I saw Ellison's 1m 46.5s I thought fair play that was fast. The boys joked by saying 'let's get a 45.8s' - I tried but we still got pole in the end."

Having been satisfied with his pace during a race simulation in FP3, which on paper was unmatched by any of his BSB rivals, Byrne is solely focused on maximising his weekend with victories to claw back the deficit on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rivals in the BSB riders' championship.

Byrne currently trails BSB series leader Luke Mossey by 51 points, and is 21 points off of Leon Haslam, but the Be Wiser Ducati rider is concentrating on Podium Points as he sits on 10 compared to Mossey's 17 and Haslam's 19.

"I did a good race run this morning so we just need to tick a few more boxes in morning warm-up and see how we go for tomorrow," he said.

 

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