Surprise pole for Byrne
Kawasaki rider stuns Hill to top Brands Hatch timesheets
Last Updated: 21/07/12 6:36pm
Shane Byrne: Took pole late in the session
Shane Byrne bagged a first pole of the British Superbike season as he edged out home favourite and reigning champion Tommy Hill at Brands Hatch.
Swan Yamaha rider Hill enjoyed a hat-trick of wins at the previous round at Oulton Park and his confidence was obvious as he set the early pace in qualifying.
Hill initially came under pressure from Samsung Honda's Michael Laverty, but it was Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider Byrne who came through to snatch top spot with a time of one minute 25.908 seconds.
"It has been a long time coming and now we have to convert it into race wins," said Byrne.
"We are having to ride really hard and cannot rest on anything. We need to keep working to maintain our race pace."
Hill was denied pole by just 0.062secs and said: "We are where we need to be and now we have to keep our pace strong.
"If we are not moving forwards, others will be, so we will be pushing hard."
Australian Josh Brookes completed the front row for Tyco Suzuki, with Noriyuki Haga, Chris Walker, James Westmoreland and Graeme Gowland occupying row two.
1 Shane Byrne (Gbr) Kawasaki 1min 25.908secs,
2 Tommy Hill (Gbr) Yamaha 1:25.970,
3 Michael Laverty (Gbr) Honda 1:26.205,
4 Josh Brookes (Aus) Suzuki 1:26.339,
5 Noriyuki Haga (Jpn) Yamaha 1:26.352,
6 Chris Walker (Gbr) Kawasaki 1:26.356,
7 James Westmoreland (Gbr) Honda 1:26.413,
8 Graeme Gowland (Gbr) Honda 1:26.426,
9 Alex Lowes (Gbr) Honda 1:26.815,
10 Michael Rutter (Gbr) Kawasaki 1:26.824