Saturday, September 30, 2006

BSB Brands Hatch Qualifying: Advantage Haslam

Leon Haslam has put his Airwaves Ducati 999 on pole at a wet Brands Hatch for the championship showdown double-header tomorrow. His title rivals Kiyonari and Lavilla trailed in 5th and 6th respectively.
This gives the youngster the perfect opportunity to take the title. With both races worth double points, starting from pole could prove crucial.
Former MotoGP racer Shakey Byrne qualified 2nd on his Rizla Suzuki, with wet weather specialist Michael Rutter 3rd on his Stobart Honda. Hard-charging young Ulsterman Johnny Rea rounds out the front row on his Red Bull Honda.
Having such high quality riders between him and his title opponents is a big plus for Haslam. Shakey always ups his game at Brands, Rutter is trying to secure a good bike for next year and I predict Johnny Rea will be the one to watch, looking to overshadow the title battle by taking a win.
Kiyo and Greg Lavilla have some work to do if they are going to beat Haslam. With double points on offer, a 5th or 6th place finish could be a hammer blow to championship hopes.
However, you never know how a wet qualifying session will translate to a dry race (fingers crossed), and a good start from these lads from the 2nd row could get them into Paddock Hill Bend on terms with Haslam. It's all to play for.

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