Josh Brookes bounced back from a spectacular crash earlier in the day to claim his first ever pole start in the ViSK British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli. The Australian scorched around the Knockhill circuit, which is hosting the sixth round, almost a third of a second faster than series leading Leon Camier.
“It feels good and I never lost faith in myself,” said Brookes who is in the midst of a strong run of form, having taken third place in each of the previous three races. “It was a case of building up to where I believe that I should be. I believe that I should be at the top, and now I hope to put on a good show in the races.
“We had been working on the bike, making a major step forwards, but then I chucked it up the road, half destroying it,” explained Brookes. “The team worked hard, we made changes to the suspension in each of the first two parts of Superpole and then it was a case of going for it.”
He did that to good effect, powering his HM Plant Honda to a lap of 48.759secs. “I managed to string a good lap together – it got pretty spectacular from where I was sitting but I managed to hold it all together. The team have done a great job.”
Brookes had re-paid the hard working efforts of his team to rebuild his bike, but, their delight was tempered by the heavy crash of Glen Richards in the final element of the Swan Combi 50 Roll for Pole in which he sustained a suspected broken right femur.
Camier, whose run of four consecutive poles on the Airwaves Yamaha, had been ended by the Australian, was more concerned about his race-start: “I need to get a good one here, that is really important, everyone else has a great pace.”
Local favourite Stuart Easton, riding the Hydrex Honda, like Brookes, aiming for maiden victory in the series ran third fastest, 49.110secs, with Michael Rutter aboard the Worx Crescent Suzuki completing the front row.
Karl Harris, despite an unpleasant stomach bug, and then a tumble in the final seconds, headed up the second row for Hydrex Honda with a time of 49.183secs ahead of James Ellison on the second Airwaves bike.
Chris Walker riding the Motorpoint Henderson Yamaha and his team-mate Graeme Gowland completed that row, ahead of Relentless Suzuki rider Ian Lowry.
Gary Mason, eleventh fastest overall, was the best of the Mirror.co.uk Cup qualifiers with a lap in 49.584secs, four grid slots and a tenth of a second up on Ultimate Racing Yamaha rider Peter Hickman with Tommy Bridewell on the Team NB Suzuki third in class.
Top ten qualifying times
J Brookes HM Plant Honda 48.759s
L Camier Airwaves Yamaha 49.056s
S Easton Hydrex Honda 49.110s
M Rutter Worx Crescent Suzuki 49.133s
K Harris Hydrex Honda 49.183s
J Ellison Airwaves Yamaha 49.348s
C Walker Motorpoint Henderson Yamaha 49.383s
G Gowland Motorpoint Henderson Yamaha 49.490s
I Lowry Relentless Suzuki 50.404s
G Richards HM Plant Honda (crashed in third element of Roll for Pole)