Be Wiser Ducati’s Josh Brookes joined the Oulton Park sub-1’34s club to take pole position for the first of three Bennetts Bitish Superbike races this afternoon at Oulton Park, setting a 1’33.939 for top spot.
Brookes fended off a late charge from good mate Tommy Bridewell, who put his Oxford Racing Ducati in second with a 1’34.115 with Scott Redding completing the Ducati front-row lock-out in third, two tenths behind Brookes.
But it was disaster for Showdown contender Danny Buchan and Tarran Mackenzie who both crashed out of qualfying one.
FS-3 Kawasaki’s Buchan had left pitlane late to secure some track space but as he entered Cascades on his first flying lap, Ryan Vickers’ engine let go and Buchan crashed unhurt on the subsequent fluid spill.
Mackenzie dropped his McAMS Yamaha at Old Hall later in the session and had set a time good enough for qualifying two but his R1 was too damaged to take part.
It means that Buchan will join fellow Showdown contender Andrew Irwin - who is serving a penalty for his Cadwell Park nerfing of Redding - on the back row of the grid while Mackenzie will begin from 17th.
The young Scotsman’s team-mate Jason O’Halloran survived a massive moment at Shell to secure fifth place on the grid, just behind a resurgent Bradley Ray, who led qualifying three for a brief period on the Buildbase Suzuki.
Glenn Irwin completes the second row while Tyco BMW team-mate Christian Iddon starts from eighth after a crash. The Stoke rider appeared to be somewhat frustrated with Irwin following him for a tow, so took off across the line but promptly crashed at Cascades, losing the front on a bump.
Peter Hickman’s Showdown challenge is strengthed with a seventh-placed start, he is bumped up a place as the eighth-placed Irwin is shuffled back.
Series rookie Alex Olsen will start his first-ever blue riband race in ninth on the grid, putting his Smiths BMW ahead of veteran Dan Linfoot.
Luke Mossey is in 11th, with Ben Currie 12th. Luke Stapleford put his Buildbase Suzuki in 13th with James Ellison 14th and Joe Francis in 15th place.
Showdown contender Xavi Fores starts in 16th, one ahead of Mackenzie with David Allingham, Shaun Winfield and Sam Coventry completing the top 20.