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British Superbikes: Superpole Explained

By BikeSocial

Bennetts BikeSocial was launched in autumn 2012



Shakey has experience of the one-lap format

Author: Oli Rushby

British Superbike bosses have introduced a new qualifying format for 2016 including the return of the iconic one-lap superpole. Here’s a quick guide to how it all works!

As normal, the fastest 30 riders from free practice will go through to the first qualifying session (Q1). This is a timed session lasting 18 minutes and at the end of that session, riders placed 19th-30th will be eliminated.

The top 18 riders will then go into the second timed session, 12 minutes in length, and at the end of the session riders placed 10th-18th will be eliminated.

The top nine riders will now go into ‘Superpole’, where they will complete one out lap (two if the circuit is less than 1.5 miles in length) before one flying lap, which will dictate their final qualifying time. The riders will go out in reverse order from the classification in Q2, so the rider placed ninth fastest in Q2 will go on track first and the fastest rider in Q2 will go on track last.

To keep things running, each rider will be sent out on track 30 seconds after the rider in front has started their timed lap.

Dry Superpole






20 mins

Top 30

19 - 30


12 mins

Top 18

10 - 18


One warm-up lap, one flier, one cool down lap each

Top 9


In the event of rain, the nine riders will fight it out in a 12-minute timed session instead of the one-lap format. If there is rain in the middle of the superpole session, it will be red flagged and the grid will be formed from the result of Q2. 

To avoid delays and complications, if Race Direction's weather systems predict a high chance of rainfall during the session, they will pre-empt the weather and run the 12 minute wet-style session. 

Get it? As has been the case for the past few years, this qualifying system will only set the grid for the first race, with race two grid positions set by fastest laps in race one.  

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