Jake Dixon bags the first pole of the 2018 showdown at Oulton Park whilst his nearest rival in the Bennets British Superbike Championship starts in 24th.
The opening session got underway in mixed conditions after an earlier downpour that affected the opening Motostar race.
Q1 was all about timing as the track would continue to dry as the session went on meaning the lap times would tumble as we get deeper into the session.
However, Leon Haslam wouldn’t even get to set a time as his JG Speefit Kawasaki lost a cylinder forcing the championship leader to settle for 24th position and last on the grid for race 1 tomorrow.
The opening session was frantic as riders switched from wets to inters and also tried a few dry rears towards the end of the session.
Q2 got underway in much drier conditions with Dixon and Bridewell taking the advantage after the opening few laps were completed. Josh Brookes then moved to the front with 4 minutes remaining.
The 18 runners in Q2 would be halved for the third and final session as the top 9 would head into the shootout for pole position.
Peter Hickman who narrowly made it into the showdown was down in a lonely 16th before jumping to 12th as the session entered its final minute.
Buildbase Suzuki’s Bradley Ray dropped to 9th and was in the drop zone as the flag came out but with Hickman and Irwin (Andy) failing to improve, the ‘Milky bar kid’ was safe.
Q3 got underway with 4 showdown contenders inside the top 9, but it was Irwin who took the early advantage before being piped by the number 28 Suzuki.
Jake Dixon then put in a lap time 0.7s faster than Ray, pushing Mossey off the front row.
The session was then red flagged after a very fast crash at Island Bend for FS-3’s Danny Buchan.
The session then restarted with a 3-minute shootout for pole, but it was Dixon who was the man to beat.
Brookes lead the way as the Aussie aimed to get a clear track for his final 2 laps of the session whilst everyone else was dealing with traffic.
As everyone crossed the line only Brookes and Ray improved there lap time.
As you thought things couldn’t get any more exciting, heavy rain started falling at the back of the circuit as the riders started their final lap of the session. The rain did not stop Brookes who fired in a time for 2nd but got shuffled back by Bridewell and Mossey who joins poleman Dixon on the front row.
Brookes heads the second row with Glenn Irwin and Richard Cooper with the showdown’s Bradley Ray in 7th. Ray is joined by Mackenzie and Buchan on the 3rd row.
Who will take the win in the opening Showdown race of the season? And can Leon Haslam limit the damage made to his championship lead from last on the grid?
Race 1 starts at 12:35 local time with the 2nd race starting at 16:35.
Featured Image Credit: www.colchesterkawasaki.co.uk