Leon Camier, the leader of the ViSK British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli completed a hat-trick of pole starts ahead of the fourth round at Thruxton, running a third of a second up on his Airwaves Yamaha team-mate James Ellison.
Camier, who is based at nearby Wimbourne, had been the dominant force throughout free practice and qualifying at the Hampshire circuit and looks all set to add to his four race winning spree to increase his 28 points lead in the title stakes over Ellison.
“We had the pace pretty well early on and didn’t need to do that many laps although I expected to go faster, having done better times in free practice,” reflected Camier after his lap of 1m 14.913secs, at an average speed of 113.32mph.
“It would be good if I could get a good start for the race, though I’ll no doubt have to pick my way through the pack again,” added Camier with a smile, although he was keen to solve why he had not been able to match his earlier lap record breaking pace in the Swan Combi 50 Roll for Pole: “We’ll have to figure out why I didn’t improve my lap times in the final grid decider.”
Ellison, eager to add to his maiden victory in the championship scored last time out at Donington Park admitted: “I’ve been trying my hardest and been struggling. At the back of mind I was concerned if I would have the pace but the whole team including Leon clubbed together to get me up to second.”
Gary Mason, the leading privateer Mirror.co.uk Cup racer in the series, stunned the factory backed riders by putting his Quay Garage Honda on the front row, third fastest, with a lap in 1m 15.351secs. “I’ve only ever had one front row start before – I can’t believe that I am here.”
Michael Rutter, deputising for the injured Sylvain Guintoli on the Worx Crescent Suzuki, surprised even himself as he ran fourth, 1m 15.400secs, reflecting: “This is just awesome. I didn’t expect to have the ride let alone be on the front row – I’m a bit emotional about it all.”
Glen Richards, riding the HM Plant Honda, headed the second row from the Hydrex Honda duo of Karl Harris and Stuart Easton with Ian Lowry on the Relentless Suzuki eighth fastest.
That eased Josh Brookes aboard the second HM Plant Honda onto the third row together with the MSS Colchester Kawasaki duo of Simon Andrews and Julian da Costa who sandwiched SMT Honda’s Jason O’Halloran.
Tom Tunstall, riding the Hardinge Doodson Honda, was the second of the Cup qualifiers, running 17th overall with a time of 1m 16.912secs, some 0.055secs up on Peter Hickman riding the Ultimate Racing Yamaha.
Top ten qualifying times
Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha) 1m:14.913s
James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) +0.339s
Gary Mason (Quay Garage Honda) +0.438s
Michael Rutter (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +0.487s
Glen Richards (Quay Garage Honda) +0.534s
Karl Harris (Hydrex Honda) +0.577s
Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) +0.617s
Ian Lowry (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +0.649s
Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +0.815s
Simon Andrews (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +0.845s