Mackenzie marches to maiden BSB pole, Redding front row

Tarran Mackenzie beats McAMS Yamaha team-mate Jason O'Halloran to BSB pole position at Silverstone, with ex-MotoGP rider Scott Redding set to make his race debut from the front row in third position. 
Mackenzie marches to maiden BSB pole, Redding front row

Click here for full BSB Qualifying results and grid positions from Silverstone

Tarran Mackenzie upset the odds to secure pole position for the opening round of the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Silverstone, defeating McAMS Yamaha team-mate Jason O’Halloran and ex-MotoGP rider Scott Redding to the top spot.

Former Honda rider O’Halloran had been hot favourite to claim pole position on his debut aboard Yamaha R1 machinery having topped the timesheets in free practice and the early stages of qualifying, only to see Mackenzie usurp him in the all-important Q3 session with a scorching 53.549s lap.

To his credit, the youngster – who notched up his maiden BSB podium at Silverstone last year - has proven the shadow of his McAMS counterpart throughout the weekend, suggesting he will be well in the hunt for his first victory now just over 20 years after his father Niall Mackenzie clinched BSB title honours in 1998.

Joining the McAMS Yamaha pair on the front row will be ex-MotoGP rider Scott Redding, who largely lived up to lofty expectations in his first-ever BSB qualifying session by claiming third. The Brit was forced to carry the responsibilities of the Be Wiser Ducati team after stablemate and pole position-contender Josh Brookes suffered a smoky mechanical failure on the brand-new V4 at the start of the session.

Nevertheless, Redding steadily developed his pace over the course of the three sessions to go third, a mere five hundredths off the top spot.

Already celebrating by reaching Q3 for the first time at the start of its sophomore season in BSB, OMG Suzuki had more more reason to enjoy the moment when Josh Elliot and Luke Mossey proceeded to take their GSX-R1000RRs all the way to the second row in fourth and fifth, in turn causing a minor embarassment for the factory Builbase Suzuki team, who could only manage ninth with Luke Stapleford and 16th with Bradley Ray. Dan Linfoot, meanwhile, made it three Yamahas towards the front of the field in sixth position on the Santander Salt TAG variant. 

Recovering from an eventful weekend of offs and technical issues, Tommy Bridewell scythed into Q3 to secure a fine seventh on the Oxford Racing Ducati, while Christian Iddon was an excellent eighth on the all-new Tyco BMW S1000RR, a bike that had barely run any mileage prior to the race weekend.

No Honda or Kawasaki machine made it through to Q3, with Andrew Irwin and Xavi Fores a modest 10th and 11th on their CBR1000RRs, while Claudio Corti couldn’t match his fine practice form as he heads up the ZX-10R contingent in an unusually lowly 12th.

Brookes, meanwhile, is due to get away from 18th on the Be Wiser Ducati, the Australian having done enough to reach Q2 before his mechanical issues forced him to withdraw from the session. 

Suffering from a lack of track time after taking a late delivery of the latest generation BMW S1000RR, the Smiths Racing couldn’t replicate the progress made by their Tyco counterparts as both Peter Hickman and James Ellison slipped out of Q1 early on. The experienced pair will start in 21st and 26th respectively