Shane Byrne says he holds more confidence in his race pace over his qualifying speed despite turning the heat up on his Bennetts British Superbike championship rivals with pole position at Oulton Park.

The defending BSB champion bolted to pole position with a 1m 33.979s, within one-tenth of his outright lap record set in 2016, but felt he was unable to break the record due to high track temperatures testing the Pirelli tyres with the Cheshire circuit witnessing hot and sunny weather this weekend.

Byrne, who trails early BSB championship leader Bradley Ray by 10 points heading into the Oulton Park round, says he is more content with his race pace and would have settled for any spot on the front row start in order to give him the opportunity of a clean start for race one.

“If I’m honest I was a little bit concerned about my one lap pace,” Byrne said. “I wasn’t so sure about being able to go super fast over one lap but the one thing we have got is a bike that is working really well over a race duration.

“I think the track is probably not quite as fast as it was this time last year, somewhere around 20 to 25 degrees is the ideal temperature where the Pirelli tyres work at their absolute optimum and right now the track temperature is around 40-odd degrees.

“We noticed the difference between FP1 and FP2 yesterday and in FP2 the bike was moving around a lot more and I couldn’t get it hooked up as it should be.”

Despite his temperature concerns Byrne is confident with the setup and race pace with his Be Wiser Ducati as he targets wins at the Cheshire track to add to his maiden 2018 victory notched up at Brands Hatch Indy last time out.

“We’ve done a lot of laps this weekend and can be really consistent,” he said. “I’ll take a front row and a consistent race pace all day long over a one-off really fast lap and race pace which is no good at all. All in all I am pretty happy and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”