Rutter takes pole with record lap

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The Independent Online

Michael Rutter powered to pole position for today's fourth round of the Motor Cycle News British Superbike Championship as he clipped a third of a second off the lap record here yesterday.

The Renegade Ducati put in a superb lap to move up from third place on the qualifying leaderboard, ahead of both his team-mate Shane Byrne and the series leader Steve Hislop, in the one-lap, against-the-clock grid deciding session.

Rutter completed the 2.76mile circuit in Cheshire in 1min 31.695sec, an average speed of 108.71mph, to win his second consecutive start from pole.

"I'm delighted as I didn't expect to beat Steve," he said. "I can't fault the bike anywhere, I ran with race set-up and I am feeling good for a repeat of my victory of the last round at Donington Park."

Hislop, who set the pace, twice had to wrestle with his MonsterMob Ducati as it slid under power on his Superpole lap, but he still set the second best time, 1:32.197, to start ahead of his nearest rival Sean Emmett, the IFC Ducati rider, who is 23 points down in the standings.

Shane Byrne, who earned his maiden victory in the previous round, completes the front row, while the defending champion, John Reynolds, who crashed heavily at Donington Park, took another tumble during the morning session.

However, he bravely hit back to qualify his Rizla Suzuki sixth fastest and with it a second row start, alongside Paul Brown, Dean Thomas and Karl Harris.