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Haslam handed pole position after qualifying canned

Leon Haslam lands pole after qualifying cancellation

Submitted by Haydn Cobb on Sat, 01/04/2017 - 19:45

Leon Haslam

Qualifying for the opening round of the 2017 MCE British Superbike championship has been canned after an extensive oil spill in a support race at Donington Park. 

After FP3 was run in wet conditions due to early morning rain, sunnier weather dried up the Leicestershire track in preparation for the first qualifying session of 2017. 

But the support race before BSB qualifying, the Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup, was red flagged after one of the bikes suffered an oil leak midway through the race between Schwantz Curve and up to Coppice. 

With oil dropped on roughly 500m of Donington Park track it required an extensive clean-up job which eventually forced the cancellation of qualifying.

It was later confirmed the cancellation came after a fatality after Ducati Cup rider Mick Whalley died of his injuries while being treated at Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham and another rider, Mike Honey, remains in a serious condition at the same hospital.

As a result, Leon Haslam will start the 2017 season opener from pole position for JG Speefit Kawasaki thanks to his top time from FP2 giving him P1 on the combined times and is joined by team-mate Luke Mossey and 2015 BSB champion Josh Brookes on the front row. 

Peter Hickman will line up from fourth place for Smiths Racing BMW thanks to his time from FP2 with defending champion Shane Byrne lining up in fifth after missing the majority of the fastest session with a technical issue on his Be Wiser Ducati yesterday. 

James Ellison joins Hickman and Byrne on row two ahead of John Hopkins and 2014 World Superbike champion Sylvain Guintoli on his Bennetts Suzuki debut. 

Glenn Irwin completes row three ahead of Christian Iddon with BSB rookie Bradley Ray splitting the Tyco BMWs with P11 on the grid in front of fellow debutant Davide Giugliano.

Visordown's thoughts are with Mick Whalley's family at this sad time.

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