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British Superbike Championship Qualifying - Rutter on pole
 
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British Superbike Championship Qualifying - Rutter on pole - May 1st 2005


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    Michael Rutter has signalled a warning to the opposition that he intends to retain - and extend - his 19-point lead in the 2005 Bennetts British Superbike Championship this weekend at Oulton Park. The 31-year-old powered the HM Plant Honda Racing CBR1000RR Fireblade into pole position at the 2.692-mile Cheshire circuit with a best time of 1:36.436.

    Leicestershire rider Rutter was almost half a second faster than his closest rival over the day's two qualifying sessions in warm, dry conditions. It is the HM Plant Honda Racing rider's second pole position of the season and third front row start.

    Last year's visits to the circuit brought four podium finishes for Rutter with two third and two second place finishes. However, he is aiming to go one better in tomorrow's race with a double victory for the HRC-supported team.

    Team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari has been withdrawn from racing at Oulton Park this weekend by the HM Plant Honda Racing team. This is a precautionary measure following the 21-year-old's accident at Mallory Park last weekend. It has already been confirmed that the Japanese rider will return to racing at Mondello Park for round five of the series.

    Michael Rutter: "It's a shame that Kiyo won't be racing here this weekend, but he has been my main threat all season, so this is obviously the perfect opportunity for me to extend my championship advantage for the team as well as myself. I'm happy to be on pole and I'm aiming to get a good start in both races to help me reach the top step of the podium tomorrow. With six HM Plant Honda Racing wins from six starts the pressure's on!"

    Qualifying:

  1. 1. M.Rutter (HM Plant Honda Racing) 1.36.436
  2. 2. D. Thomas (Kawasaki) +0.479
  3. 3. L.Haslam (Ducati) +0.748
  4. 4. G.Richards (Kawasaki) +0.972
  5. 5. K.Harris (Honda-Racing.co.uk) +1.089
  6. 6. G.Mason (Honda) +1.146
  7. 7. J.Haydon (Suzuki) +1.378
  8. 8. J.Laverty (Honda) +1.531
  9. 9. G.Lavilla (Ducati) +1.544
  10. 10. S.Smart (Suzuki) +1.768