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British Superbikes Round 2 Oulton Park 30 April-02 May 2016

Oulton Park

Haslam continues pole position streak on Oulton Park return

eon Haslam will start from pole position for tomorrow’s opening MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race at Oulton Park after snatching the pole position on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki, just ahead of his team-mate James Ellison.

In a dramatic Datatag Qualifying session, Haslam kept his cool in a hectic wet Superpole session; with five different riders holding the top spot during the eight minute battle for the pole position. Initially Alastair Seeley had set the first flying lap on the Royal Air Force BMW, but before long Christian Iddon pushed ahead to make the Tyco BMW the target at the top.

Ellison though was relishing the wet conditions and he launched to a faster time in the final minutes of the session, but it was short lived as Honda Racing’s Jason O'Halloran then carved his way to the top. Ellison was instantly on the counter attack though and returned to the top position with his next flying lap, but Haslam wasn’t done with his last run and in the final minute the Derbyshire rider stole the pole position.

Haslam said: “I am happy to be on pole position, especially here at Oulton Park. We had finished the free practice session earlier today feeling confident of where the spins were going to come and then when we went back out again it felt different, so I was making some mistakes.

“I knew I had to stay out on track and just make the most of it, and then on my last lap I managed to do it. I didn’t know I had taken pole as I had P4 on my board before that so I have to thank the team for their hard work today as it was our first full day in the wet conditions. We will wait and see what happens tomorrow but we know it will be a really close race no matter what happens.”

Dan Linfoot will head the second row of the grid for the Honda Racing team after he climbed ahead of Iddon in the closing stages of the session, with the Tyco BMW pairing completing the second row with Michael Laverty.

Seeley will start from the third row ahead of Team WD-40 Kawasaki’s Jack Kennedy who had his best qualifying performance of the season so far in eighth with Lee Jackson completing the top nine.

It was a disappointing session for Shane 'Shakey' Byrne; the four-time champion will start 18th on the grid after a tough Q2; the Be Wiser Ducati rider had a moment through the gravel at Lodge at the mid-way point of the second stage before crashing out unhurt a lap later at Hizzys.

It was also a tough session for the second Be Wiser Ducati; Glenn Irwin suffered a clutch problem on his first lap and was forced to miss the remainder of Datatag Qualifying; he will start on the back row of the grid.

Danny Buchan was also left disappointed after Datatag Qualifying after he was ruled out on medical grounds for the remainder of the weekend after suffering concussion in a crash at Knickerbrook during Q1.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Datatag Qualifying:

  1. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 1m:43.633s
  2. James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.452s
  3. Jason O'Halloran (Honda Racing) +0.520s
  4. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +0.553s
  5. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.637s
  6. Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +0.870s
  7. Alastair Seeley (Royal Air Force BMW) +0.926s
  8. Jack Kennedy (Team WD-40 Kawasaki) +1.425s
  9. Lee Jackson (Buildbase BMW) +1.599s

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