HM Plant Honda Racing's Michael Rutter smashed the lap record at Mondello
Park by almost a full second during this morning's qualifying session for
round five of the 2005 Bennetts British Superbike Championship. The
32-year-old recorded a best time of 1:39.724 aboard the HRC-prepared
However, it was not enough for the Leicestershire rider to claim pole
position, with Red Bull Honda rider Jonathan Rea claiming the leading spot
at his local track. Further frustration followed for Rutter when he slid off the factory machine in the day's second session.
He was forced to use his spare HM Plant Honda with limited time remaining
until the chequered flag. A last lap mistake by the Midlander followed,
relegating him to fifth position and a second row start for tomorrow's two
18-lap races at the 2.176-mile track.
His HM Plant Honda Racing team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari has made a return to the series following a crash at round three at Mallory Park. The 22-year-old Japanese star proved that he is already back on the pace by securing a front row starting position on his first visit to the Irish circuit.
Michael Rutter: "I'm a bit disappointed at not being on the front row
because I know how important the start is here at Mondello Park. However, I
made a mistake and there's nothing I can do about it. I've been putting in
some really good lap times with my race set-up over the weekend so far, so I 'm fairly confident that I can still get a good result."
Ryuichi Kiyonari: "It has taken me a long time to learn this track - a
little longer than I had hoped. However, towards the end of the second
qualifying session it seemed to click into place a little bit more. I am
looking forward to getting more practice in tomorrow's warm-up and then we'
ll see what happens in the races."
- 1. J. Rea (Red Bull Honda) - 1:39.344
- 2. G. Richards (Kawasaki) - 1:39.475
- 3. L. Haslam (Ducati) - 1:39.518
- 4. R. Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda Racing) - 1:39.649
- 5. M. Rutter (HM Plant Honda Racing) - 1:39.724
- 6. M. Laverty (Honda) - 1:39.874
- 7. G. Lavilla (Ducati) - 1:39.903
- 8. G. Mason (Honda) - 1:40.077
- 9. K. Harris (Honda-Racing.co.uk) - 1:40.097
- 10. D. Thomas (Kawasaki) - 1:40.192