Brookes under the lap record to claim Oulton Park pole position
Josh Brookes claimed the first Bennetts British Superbike Championship pole position for the new Ducati V4R at Oulton Park this afternoon for the Be Wiser Ducati team. The 2015 champion set his personal best lap of the Cheshire circuit to lap under the existing record to hold off rivals Tommy Bridewell and Peter Hickman who complete the front row ahead of tomorrow’s Bank Holiday races.
Brookes had been the fastest rider on track yesterday, but he continued to make strides forward as the Australian upped the pace to give him the edge in the final stage of qualifying to head off Bridewell as Hickman claimed the first front row start for the new BMW S1000RR in third.
Brookes said: “I’ve just turned up to Oulton Park with a clear mind and put Silverstone behind me. Luckily we had a test here so we had great momentum, got a good setting of the bike and came here and refined it a little bit further.
“The team have done a fantastic job, we have been working through a lot of fine tuning - nothing big at the moment because the bike’s already in good range so it’s nice to be in that zone where you can do some fine tuning and just work through little areas to just refine the bike, as opposed to having to make big changes and hoping that works.
“I think we’re in a fantastic position, all I can say is that I’m pleased and looking forward to the races tomorrow. I just hope now that I can put this one-lap speed into race-long consistency.”
A hectic Q2 saw an intense fight to be in the final nine for the last stage of Datatag Qualifying and impressively in only his second round on a Superbike, rookie Ryan Vickers qualified for the first time in Q3. He will start ninth on the grid for the RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki team for tomorrow’s opening race.
Jason O'Halloran bounced back from an earlier crash in free practice to finish fourth fastest to head the second tow from Christian Iddon on the Tyco BMW and Danny Buchan for FS-3 Racing Kawasaki ahead of tomorrow’s race one.
Scott Redding continues to grasp learning the technically challenging Oulton Park on his race debut here, firing himself into the top nine and qualifying seventh on the grid on the second Be Wiser Ducati ahead of Keith Farmer.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Datatag Qualifying result:
- Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati) 1m:34.084s
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati) +0.625s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.801s
- Jason O'Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +0.856s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.929s
- Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +0.938s
- Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati) +1.082s
- Keith Farmer (Tyco BMW) +1.143s
- Ryan Vickers (RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki) +1.259s