First qualifying for the start of the British Superbike championship at Silverstone saw mixed weather conditions and a challenge to all contenders.

The weather for the first qualifying of the day could not have been worse. Light drizzle meant conditions were too wet for dry tyres but not wet enough for wets. Early in the session riders chose to go for the full wet tyre but conditions seemed to improve enough for a try on the dry tyre later on in the session.

Glen Richards and Ryuichi Kiyonari were the early leaders, swapping first and second position almost every time they came through the timing beam. Then riders started experimenting with the slick tyres and times started to tumble. Dean Thomas on the Sendo Ducati put in a flyer to take pole from Glen Richards with Kiyonari displaced into third.

Sean Emmett was a late participant and on his first flying lap took pole off of Thomas with a 1min 29.255secs, displacing Richards into third and Kiyonari into fourth. Newcomer Tommy Hill, who is also qualifying for the first time in his career, managed to place his Virgin Yamaha into fifth. Unfortunately conditions worsened before John Reyonds and Dean Ellison could put in a competitive lap time and therefore remain down the field going into the second practice.

Weather forecasters predict dry weather this afternoon, which probably indicates heavy rain. This would be very bad news for Reynolds and Ellison who would remain down the field.

Top ten
1. Sean EmmettMonstermob Ducati
2. Dean ThomasSendo Ducati Dienza
3. Glen RichardsHawk Kawasaki
4. Ryuichi KiyonariHM Plant Honda Racing
5. Tommy HillVirgin Mobile Samsung Yamaha
6. Jon Kirkham(cup)Jon Kirkham Racing Suzuki
7. Steve PlaterVirgin Mobile Samsung Yamaha
8. Michael RutterHM Plant Honda Racing
9. Gary MasonVirgin Mobile Samsung Yamaha
10. Scott SmartHawk Kawasaki



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