Haslam takes pole with scorching Brands lap

Click to follow

Leon Haslam, 21, set the fastest ever motorcycle lap on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit yesterday when he scored pole position for the first round of today's British Superbike Championship.

Haslam lapped the 1.23-mile track in 45.784sec on his Airwaves Ducati to capture his first ever pole in superbike racing. "It's the first time I've ridden on the short circuit at Brands on a superbike," he said. "It isn't one of my favourite tracks, but I'll settle for this."

The 22-year-old Japanese rider Ryuichi Kiyonari took second place on his HM Plant Honda, only 0.143sec behind the Briton. Scott Smart finished in third place on the Rizla Suzuki, and Sean Emmett made it four different makes on the front row with his Virgin Mobile Samsung Yamaha. Reigning champion John Reynolds, who broke his right leg in five places only five weeks ago, qualified 12th in 46.398sec.

Michael Rutter, one of the favourites for the championship, will start from the second row after finishing sixth fastest. The Grand prix veteran Jeremy McWilliams, 40, who is making his debut in the British series, was ninth fastest on his Stobart Honda.