Surprise Bennetts British Superbike championship leader Bradley Ray has stormed to pole position at Brands Hatch Indy ahead of defending champion Shane Byrne.
The double race winner from Donington Park finished Friday practice a lowly 17th on the combined times but charged through qualifying to produce an early mark to beat in Q3 with a 44.997s.
Be Wiser Ducati’s Byrne looked set to trump that effort having been quicker through the first two sectors on his final flying lap of the pole position shootout but a small moment around the final corner of the Indy circuit saw him lose vital time and slip behind the Buildbase Suzuki rider by 0.097s.
Anvil Hire Yamaha’s James Ellison secured a front row start with an impressive final lap to keep clear of Michael Laverty on the Tyco BMW who heads up row two. JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam could only manage the middle of the second row, 0.003s off of Laverty, with Halsall Suzuki rider Tommy Bridewell completing the row two.
Jake Dixon heads up row three for RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki ahead of Jason O’Halloran whose Honda Racing squad produced a remarkable repair job after the Australian rider tipped off on his final lap in Q2.
Tarran Mackenzie recovered from a hairy moment during an early lap in Q3 for McAMS Yamaha but failed to gain any time on his fellow pole contenders and will start from ninth.
Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon was the unlucky 10th place rider in Q2 to just miss out ahead of Buildbase Suzuki’s Richard Cooper with Be Wiser Ducati’s Glenn Irwin completing row four.
Double winner at Brands Hatch Indy from 12 months ago Luke Mossey could only manage 13th place for JG Speedfit Kawasaki in qualifying while 2015 BSB champion Josh Brookes suffered an early exit in Q1 and will line up a lowly 20th place.