Josh Brookes has taken the new Ducati Panigale V4 R to its maiden Bennetts British Superbike Championship pole position in only its second outing at Oulton Park after a dominant showing by the Australian in qualifying.

The 2015 BSB champion has been in superb form at the Cheshire circuit ever since he topped timesheets during an in-season test last week, proving quickest in each dry practice session before leading the way Q1 and Q2. Come the all-important Q3 session, his effort of 1m 34.084s leaves him a full seven tenths ahead of the opposition.

An untouchable performance by the 2015 BSB champion in only his second race meeting with Paul Bird Motorsport’s Be Wiser team, Brookes is hot favourite to break the machine’s BSB victory duck tomorrow.

His closest competition from the front row will be V4 counterpart Tommy Bridewell, who continued his impressive early season with run to second place on the Moto Rapido-prepared Oxford Racing bike.

Having struggled at Silverstone following the late delivery of Smiths Racing’s new BMW S1000RRs, Peter Hickman gave a glimpse at the bike’s full potential with more development by qualifying in third position as one of three BMW riders to reach the final Q3 pole shootout.

Making it four different manufacturers inside the top four positions, Jason O’Halloran found form seemingly lacking in the McAMS Yamaha R1 ahead of qualifying with a strong run to fourth, ahead of FP3 pace setter Christian Iddon on the Tyco BMW.

Unable to match his top three performance from free practice, FS-3 Racing Kawasaki’s Danny Buchan nonetheless remains well in the hunt on the outside the second row in sixth.

Despite admitting to being ‘scared’ of the iconic Cheshire circuit, Oulton Park rookie Scott Redding was still good enough to place a respectable seventh aboard the second of the Be Wiser Ducati.

The ex-MotoGP rider is joined on the third row by Keith Farmer and the impressive Ryan Vickers, last year’s National Superstock 600 champion getting increasingly settled on the substantially more powerful Superbike by cracking Q3 in only his second outing.

Winners at Silverstone, Josh Elliott and Tarran Mackenzie face an uphill challenge to repeat that feat at Oulton Park after missing the Q3 cut in 10thand 12th. Indeed, it was a tough session altogether for the Suzuki contingent with Luke Mossey starting race one from 13th, while the factory Buildbase entries get away from 14thfor Bradley Ray and 25thfor Luke Stapleford, the latter suffering a fall early in the session.

Similarly, Honda Racing have a lot of ground to make up with its CBR1000RR as Andrew Irwin and Xavi Fores disappointed down in 16thand 26threspectively.

Already down a bike following Ben Currie’s injury in FP1, defending champions Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki endured a torrid Saturday with Glenn Irwin well down the order in 24thposition.

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