HM Plant Honda rider Karl Harris gave himself the best possible chance of claiming his first-ever British Superbike win tomorrow as he clinched his first-ever British Superbike pole in record breaking time for round nine of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park, Cheshire today (22 July)

The Sheffield-based rider was delighted with his time, the lap time of 1:34.515 was the fastest-ever two-wheeled lap around the 2.69-mile track, which he set on his final lap of the 50-minute qualifying session aboard his Michelin-shod Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade. Harris looked set to claim pole earlier in the session but Leon Haslam snatched it from him by four thousandths of a second on his final qualifying tyre. However, the 26-year-old had two remaining qualifiers and left it to the closing moments to set his time, leaving no time for anyone to respond.

Harris’ team mate Ryuichi Kiyonari joins him on the front row in third. The Japanese rider was looking to better his qualifying time but was caught up on his final lap however he was nevertheless happy with his front row start.

Fellow Honda rider Jonathan Rea joins Harris and Kiyonari on the front row in fourth.

Meanwhile in the ultra-competitive National Superstock class John McGuinness qualified sixth fastest aboard his Dunlop-shod Honda CBR1000RR and starts round nine from row two. The Morecambe-based rider was edged off the front row in the afternoon session after finishing in a strong third place in the morning.

Karl Harris: “It’s about time. I’m really pleased with that. It actually seemed really easy; everything went according to plan and now I just want to get the job done tomorrow and hopefully that first win won’t be too far off.”

Ryuichi Kiyonari: “I am happy with my front row start, I was looking for a faster time on the last lap but there was a faller out the back and I had to ease off but we are very strong on race rubber so the races should be good tomorrow.”

John McGuinness: “I was a little bit disappointed that I was knocked off the front row, I tried a different tyre in the afternoon session and by the time I got into my stride the wind came in and it was blowing a gale out there which cost me the time, but I’m still confident of a good finish tomorrow.”


Superbike Qualifying

1, Karl Harris (HM Plant Honda) 1m34.515s, 2, Leon Haslam (Ducati) +0.219s, 3, Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +0.548s, 4, Jonathan Rea (Honda) +0.806s, 5, Shane Byrne (Suzuki) +1.068s, 6, Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +1.269s, 7, Michael Rutter (Honda) +1.296s, 8, Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) +1.478s, 9, Glen Richards (Honda) +1.731s, 10, Michael Laverty (Honda) +2.322s.

Superstock Qualifying

1, Brendan Roberts (Suzuki) 1m40.065s, 2, Tristan Palmer (Suzuki) +0.319s, 3, Ian Hutchinson (Suzuki) +0.520s, 4, Hudson Kennaugh (Yamaha) +0.752s, 5, Jo9hn Laverty (Suzuki) +0.774s, 6, John McGuinness (HM Plant Honda) 0.802s, 7, Luke Quigley (Suzuki) +0.816s, 8, Aaron Zanotti (Suzuki) +0.835s, 9, Marshall Neill (Suzuki) +0.854s, 10, Adrian Coates (Suzuki) +1.120s.

The first 17-lap British Superbike race takes place on Sunday at 13.20 with race two at 15.48. The 15-lap National Superstock Championship takes place at 17.20.
The ITV broadcast window is 15.00 – 16.30.



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