Leon Camier powered in his eighth pole start of the campaign ahead of the tenth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli at Croft in which he could clinch the sport’s premier crown.
Riding the Airwaves Yamaha, series leader Camier comfortably eclipsed his rivals with a lap of the North Yorkshire circuit in 1m 20.124secs, running some three quarters of a second faster than the rest in the hot, sunny conditions of the Swan Combi 50 Roll for Pole.
“I’m happy enough with that, although the lap times are probably not as fast as expected because of the temperature,” reflected Camier. “I lacked a bit of stability and a couple of times scared myself, the tyres were a bit greasy.
“I’m looking forward to the races, they will be hard with Stuart Easton and Josh Brookes up there, but I like this circuit, having won here last year, and it is a case of figuring out how to deal with the bumps and keeping the ride smooth,” added Camier.
Simon Andrews starts his MSS Colchester Kawasaki from second on the grid with a lap in 1m 20.974secs with Easton third best for Hydrex Honda with Josh Brookes putting in a late flyer to secure a front row start for his HM Plant Honda as he returns to action after a two event ban.
James Ellison, starting the races with a 97.5 points deficit on his team-mate Ellison, heads up the second row knowing that he needs top five finishes if he is to stay in contention for the crown – should Camier win both races and Ellison finish lower than fifth, then the championship will be resolved.
Gary Mason, the leader in the chase for the Mirror.co.uk Cup, for independent teams and riders, ran sixth fastest overall with a lap of 1m 21.136secs aboard the Quay Garage Honda to be ahead of Tommy Hill who is making his Hydrex Honda debut, while Ian Lowry completed the second row, eighth fastest on the Relentless Suzuki.
Motorpoint Henderson Yamaha duo Graeme Gowland and Chris Walker headed the third row from Ryuichi Kiyonari, the former twice champion, who is making a one-off appearance for the HM Plant Honda team in place of their injured Glen Richards, and John Laverty who bounced back from a tumble early on in the session.
Julien da Costa, Cup runners Peter Hickman and Tommy Bridewell, together with Atsushi Watanabe start from the fourth row with Sylvain Guintoli, another early faller adrift of them in company with Karl Harris, making his debut with Node 4 Yamaha, plus Tristan Palmer and Howie Mainwaring. Cup riders Tom Tunstall, Martin Jessopp and Kenny Gilbertson completed the grid.
Top ten qualifying times
1 L Camier Airwaves Yamaha 1m 20.124s
2 S Andrews MSS Colchester Kawasaki 1m 20.974s
3 S Easton Hydrex Honda 1m 20.980s
4 J Brookes HM Plant Honda 1m 21.072s
5 J Ellison Airwaves Yamaha 1m 21.079s
6 G Mason Quay Garage Honda 1m 21.136s
7 T Hill Hydrex Honda 1m 21.138s
8 I Lowry Relentless Suzuki 1m 21.254s
9 G Gowland Motorpoint Henderson Yamaha 1m 21.296s
10 C Walker Motorpoint Henderson Yamaha 1m 21.626s