Both Airwaves Ducati's will start round 4 of the Bennetts British Superbike championship from the front row, having come 1st and 3rd in qualifying today. Gregorio Lavilla set the fastest time of the day under grey skies, to achieve his first pole position of the season. Leon Haslam finished 0.492 seconds behind in 3rd.
Changeable weather conditions just before qualifying meant that it was not obvious whether it would be a wet or dry session; however a late decision was taken to declare it dry. The Airwaves Ducati riders were amongst the first out on track, as they were keen to record some fast laps in case of further rain. However the rain held off and as the racing line dried times decreased dramatically. With 15 minutes of the session remaining Greg was the first rider to record a sub 1:36 second lap, taking the lead from Leon with a time of 1:35.799. Kiyonari briefly went into pole position before Greg set the best time of the day, 1:35.430 to take 1st place from the Honda rider. Leon's best time of the day, 1:35.922 resulted in 3rd place on the grid.
Having secured Airwaves Ducati and Dunlop's first pole position of the year, the current championship leader, Gregorio Lavilla, commented; "It was my priority to get on the front row today, so I am very pleased to be on pole position. I am feeling good for the race tomorrow but we will have to see what the weather is like. It will be a gamble for everybody if it rains, but we have done well in the wet in the past so I am confident that we will be competitive whatever the conditions."
Leon Haslam was also pleased with his performance saying, "I'm really happy with how we have done today and it is great to get a front row start. I got held up on my qualifying lap so to end up 3rd is a good result for me. We are still one second off of last years pace but the race set up on the bike is really good, now we just need to wait and see what the weather is going to do!"
"That was an exciting qualifying session. We didn't know if it would be wet or dry, I tried both my bikes and ended up getting out on my qualifier with only just enough time to set a quick lap - and thankfully it was good enough for the second row.
"I have been asking for more rear braking power all weekend and we got it right this afternoon which was brilliant. My Rizla Suzuki feels strong and I like Oulton Park, so I'm hoping for a couple of decent results."
"I haven't forgotten how to ride a Superbike in the last week and my Rizla Suzuki was good enough to make the podium at Silverstone. Put simply I haven't got the bike dialled in to Oulton Park yet.
"Tomorrow is a new day and it's the racing that counts, so I'm looking forward to that and getting my head down and doing my best. I've always been a better racer than qualifier so the guys in front better watch out, there's a very determined Rizla Suzuki that'll be piling on the pressure wherever it can."
"That's more like it! I thought I'd thrown it away on my flying lap when I got held up by another rider and had to roll it off to try and get a third lap and although I'd had the best out of the rear tyre, I stuck my neck out and it was spot on. I'm really happy with a front row start, the team has worked hard and I'm really confident with my race set up so we're hoping to be up there tomorrow."
"There wasn't a single lap where I didn't have to pass someone. It's a difficult balance between stuffing someone up the inside and losing time because of it and backing off a little bit and making sure you get a good run on the others, but unfortunately I didn't get either of those today so I'm really frustrated. I hope we can get a good start and get away at the front tomorrow."
Race one starts at 1pm tomorrow with the second race commencing at 4.08pm.
- 1: Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 1:35.430
- 2: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +0.164
- 3: Leon Haslam (Ducati) +0.492
- 4: Tom Sykes (Honda) +0.561
- 5: Jonathan Rea (Honda) +0.591
- 6: Shane Byrne (Honda) +0.665
- 7: Cal Crutchlow (Suzuki) +0.715
- 8: Leon Camier (Honda) +0.898
- 9: Karl Harris (Honda) +1.411
- 10: Dean Thomas (Suzuki) +1.425
- 13: Chris Walker (Suzuki) +1.572