The Black Mint Airwaves Ducati's will start tomorrow's races first and second on the grid after a brilliant performance by both riders this afternoon. Leon and Greg dominated qualifying, consistently setting times quicker than Greg's lap record from last year. The 2005 BSB champion eventually took pole position from his team mate with minutes remaining in the 50 minute session.
Having performed well in this morning's final practice Leon took an early lead in qualifying with a lap of 1:25.913. Then, after a brief interruption due to a red flag, Greg moved up to 2nd with a time of 1:26.143; however he then had to switch to his second bike due to a technical issue with his number one Ducati 999F06. Although using his less favoured bike Greg managed a sub 1:26 lap but Leon had already taken the lead with a 1:25.209 lap on a Dunlop qualifying tyre. With 5 minutes remaining in the session Greg shaved 0.035 seconds off of his team mate's time to claim pole position.
After securing his fourth pole of the season Gregorio Lavilla said, "I am really pleased with my pole position, also a little surprised, as we had a problem with my number one bike so I had to switch to my second bike. I thought it would be difficult to qualify on the front row of the grid as I really don't like my second bike, but my mechanics have worked really hard over the past couple of weeks to match up the two bikes and it has really helped. So when I went out on it this afternoon I felt good and I put in some good laps to get pole position! I am obviously really happy!"
Current championship and Audi Quattro performance leader Leon Haslam said, "I am happy enough with 2nd, I just got pipped by my team mate but it keeps the competition for the Audi car alive going into Brands! I am pleased with my times today and I am looking forward to starting from the front row tomorrow."
"I was a little disappointed not to get onto the second row but after thinking about it I am actually quite pleased with today. I have been approaching the weekend cautiously and it was only in qualifying when I started to push hard. Little things like dragging the brakes and muscling the bike through the corners are coming back to me and the lap times are coming down as a result.
"On race rubber I am almost as fast as my qualifying time and providing I get a good start, I think I have the pace to compete for the top eight. I can't tell you how much I am enjoying being back on a race bike again and loads of credit goes to my Rizla Suzuki crew for giving me a bike that is quick and comfortable to ride - thanks guys!"
"I was maxed out on my last qualifier and nearly lost the front end a couple of times. Maybe I was actually trying a bit too hard and lost time and rhythm that way.
"I am not far off the leaders and tomorrow will be a completely different day. When the lights go out it's anybody's race and I'll be giving it my all."
Round 12 of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship commences tomorrow, September 17th 2006.
- 1: Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 1:25.174
- 2: Leon Haslam (Ducati) +0.035
- 3: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +0.395
- 4: Jonathan Rea (Honda) +0.549
- 5: Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +0.556
- 6: Karl Harris (Honda) +0.564
- 7: Michael Rutter (Honda) +0.604
- 8: SHANE BYRNE (RIZLA SUZUKI) +0.762
- 9: Michael Laverty (Honda) +0.808
- 10: JAMES HAYDON (RIZLA SUZUKI) +1.130