The prime time of racing. There is just something about this category that gets the heart racing. The practice and qualifying sessions are no different than race days. The riders are fiercely competitive, they leave it all on the track.
Since Q2, Throttle Heads Racing (THR) have signed Sama, the 2016 champion to partner Jack, the three time BT champion and current defending champion. 24-7 have signed Argo, the first runner up and CC racing signed David Brown. The teams have all played their cards. It was left for the show down on track.
The excitement of the announcements were quickly dashed when it was clear that the heavy hitters had decided to sit out Q3. Gbenga, Sama, Argo and Jack all sat this out. Only Jack was on track and he was unable to partake in qualifying as both his bikes had mechanical issues. It is safe to assume all four riders are pretty content with their times. Other riders not to show up at Q3 include Jaydee, Show and Mustee. We will have to wait till November to witness what we hope will be a very exciting match up. All four riders have a good chance of finishing on the top step. It will be foolhardy to look beyond the four riders to finish on the top step.
Onto qualifying, it was B9 of BKG racing, who was out first. After running around 1:17s all weekend, it was a bit of a surprise that he could not run that pace in qualifying. While he was the second fastest on the day, he actually dropped down to P7 for race day. A little comfort can be found in his performance last year where after a disastrous start, he found himself back of the grid in the first few corners of the race but regained his composure and finished as second runner up after what could be described as a stunning ride through the field.
Armstrong of Inferno went out next on his 750 GSXR. A bit of a surprise when you are up against the 999cc displacement engines. He is already 150cc short but when does that stop racers. He was fast through the turns but was loosing time on the straights. At the end he did admirably well, qualifying in P8. Inferno racing will have at least one representative in each race category come November. A fantastic effort for a modest team it must be said.
Out next was the newest member of CC racing. David aboard the BMW S1000RR. He was flying through FP4 and he did not let up during qualifying. He went about his business and although he was not happy with his session afterwards, it was clear the team were and rightly so, considering this was his first time on the track. He was the fastest on the day even with the 3 second penalty for not coming into the pit after his session. While he is about 11 seconds from a podium finish, I am certain with more time on the track, he will close the gap even further and possibly challenge for a place on the rostrum.
Tbanj was the last man out on track and he was a second behind his Q2 time. He is the only rider that did not beat their personal best record in the final qualifying session. He will start the race from P9, a daunting task especially with the pace of the front runners but one he is sure to relish taking on.
The most excitement came in one of the most anticipated moves this season when Ahmed went out on the ZX10R during FP4 and was flying through the circuit. There was a bit of excitement when his name was called out as one of the riders going out for Q3 in the liter class. Shame that did not happen as a number of people were quite interested in seeing what kind of lap he could conjure up on the bike. Maybe a sign of things to come in 2019. We can only hope.
- 600cc Qualifier – August 2018
- The 2018 Q3 Qualifiers is Upon Us
- 1000cc Qualifiers – May 2018
- 600cc Qualifiers – May 2018
Mustee of Torque racing unfortunately misses out of the season ending race in November on the provisional list. Jaydee’s P5 looked in doubt during FP4 but ultimately, he just held onto that position because of the penalty imposed on David. It is looking increasingly likely that the top riders have a bit more than the rest of the field and the battles besides the podium places will be quite interesting based on the pace during the course of the year.
Name Team Bike Time (2 laps combined)
Gbenga* BKG racing BMW S1000rr 2:26.21
Sama* Throttle Heads Racing Kawasaki ZX10 2:27:52
AirBenda* Throttle Heads Racing BMW S1000rr 2:28:66
Argo* 24-7 racing Aprilia RSV4 2:33.17
JayDee 24-7 racing GXSR 2:40.40
David** CC racing BMW S1000rr 2:40.97
B9** BKG racing Honda Fireblade 2:41.35
Armstrong** Inferno Racing GSXR-750 2:44:35
TBanj* CC racing BMW S1000rr 2:51.36
Show 4eva racing 2:59.04
Mustee Torque racing BMW S1000rr 3:04.02
* Times from the May qualifiers
** Times from the August qualifiers