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Kagayama shatters BSB pole record at Croft

Kagayama shatters BSB pole record at Croft

Kagayama shatters BSB pole record at Croft

Yukio Kagayama powered his Rizla Suzuki onto pole for the tenth round of the THINK! British Superbike Championship with a lap of quality and speed that shattered the outright record at the Croft circuit which is hosting a round of the country's premier series for the first time.

The Japanese rider, currently fourth in the overall standings, lapped the demanding 2.127 mile circuit, which is located to the south of Darlington in a scorching time of 1m 20.904s, some four seconds faster than any other bike racer had achieved, and at an average speed of 94.64mph.

Kagayama had set the time in the morning session, and it was not until the final minutes of the second period that he came under threat, with Michael Rutter using his qualifying tyre to good effect to charge his HM Plant Honda onto the front row with a lap just 0.046 seconds down.

It was the confidence booster that Rutter needed. He goes into the races trailing series leader John Reynolds by 73 points, but after seeing the twice former champion secure only a second row start, smiled: "There's a lot of hard work to be done here, but I'm not giving up on anything. I need the victories here and am feeling good."

Joining them on the front row are James Haydon riding the Virgin Mobile Samsung Yamaha and Aussie Dean Thomas on the Sendo Dienza Ducati.

Scott Smart, the winner of three races so far, and third in the standings lapped marginally faster than Reynolds, who made a late, vain attempt to improve his best time of 1m 21.329s, that leaves him in sixth place on the leaderboard.

Even so, Reynolds was less than half a second off the pole setting pace, and though disappointed, is still determined to add to his five race winning record: "I'll get my head down and get on with the job - I'm not thinking about consolidating my lead in the championship, rather concentrating on winning races."

Gary Mason and Ryuichi Kiyonari complete the second row of the grid.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004

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