With morning qualifying in the wet, it was the second dry session that determined grid positions and both Rizla Suzuki riders struggled to match their lap times from Friday. Minor changes to the suspension set-ups for both racers upset the handling on their Rizla Suzukis and they did not have time to change back to their previous settings during the 50-minute long session.
The Rizla Suzuki technicians will now revert both GSX-R1000s to tried and tested base suspension settings for Sunday's races. Reigning British Superbike Champion JR was seventh and Scott 11th in Friday's free practice. Only 1.4 seconds separated the top 17 places in qualifying as Honda's Michael Rutter took pole position.
One of the most popular events on the BSB calendar, a bumper crowd is expected to attend Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire. Superbike racing starts at 1:20pm on Sunday, June 5th. It will be broadcast live on Sky Sports. A highlights package of all the racing will be shown by Channel 4 one week later.
"Friday I couldn't have been happier and Saturday was the exact opposite. We didn't make huge changes to my Rizla Suzuki - we simply tried altering the rear suspension. That plainly has not worked and we will go back to Friday's settings for the races.
"I am incredibly disappointed with today's performance, but if I can find the same feeling in my Rizla Suzuki as Friday then I am confident I can run competitive lap times in the races. I'll need a couple of dream starts on Sunday starting from the fourth row."
"It seems that whatever alterations to my Rizla Suzuki we tried on Saturday they did not work. I am lacking confidence in the front end of my bike and we are not finding the answers we need.
"We are going to continue working hard and Sunday I will be giving it my all in the races. I need a good start and I will do my best to latch on to a fast group and try to make up places where I can."
Simon Green, Team Co-ordinator:
"That was a very disappointing final qualifying session, particularly after showing such promise on Friday and in the wet this today. We were expecting front or second row qualifying positions and to end up on the fourth row is difficult to accept. There was an expectation that both riders would build on their earlier performances, but this has not materialised and we need to address how best to get the most out of the races on Sunday.
"JR in 16th is less than 1.4 seconds behind pole position and that is testimony to how competitive British Superbikes really is. It is times like these that really test the team and Rizla Suzuki will now dig deep and come out fighting, and go for the absolute best results we can."
Qualifying Times: 1: Michael Rutter (Honda) 1:20.624, 2: Dean Thomas (Kawasaki) +0.004, 3: Jonathan Rea (Honda) +0.280, 4: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +0.330, 5: Karl Harris (Honda) +0.533, 6: Glen Richards (Kawasaki) +0.828, 7: Leon Haslam (Ducati) +0.896, 8: Michael Laverty (Honda) +0.947, 9: Steve Plater (Kawasaki) +0.995, 10: James Buckingham (Suzuki) +1.000, 15: SCOTT SMART (RIZLA SUZUKI) +1.330, 16: JOHN REYNOLDS (RIZLA SUZUKI) +1.379.