Smart spent much of the two qualifying sessions testing a new dual-compound Dunlop rear tyre. It features softer rubber for additional grip at the edges while the center of the tyre is a harder compound to aid longevity. Smart was able to lap consistently quickly using this rubber and is in good shape for the races.
JR suffered more than most in the driving winds as he nursed his broken right leg during the qualifying sessions. The British Champion is happy with his Rizla Suzuki set-up but wasn't ready to commit fully to a qualifying lap because of the gusting wind that was catching many riders out and causing crashes.
Thruxton boasts the fastest average lap speed of any circuit the BSB Championship visits at nearly 112mph and is Dorset-based Rizla Suzuki's home event. Honda's Michael Rutter claimed pole position.
Former Formula One commentator and friend to Rizla Suzuki, Murray Walker, will be joining the team for the racing. Superbike racing at Thruxton starts at 13:15 on Sunday, April 10th. It will be televised live on Sky Sports. A highlights programme on Channel 4 will be screened the following Sunday morning and feature the chance to win a pillion ride with Rizla Suzuki.
"I didn't get a single clear lap during qualifying, so I am happy that I was able to get a second row starting position for the races. I would have preferred a faster qualifying time but thanks to back markers, gusting wind and me trying just too hard, I missed my window of opportunity.
"I spent a lot of time testing a new Dunlop dual compound rear tyre and it's given me a very competitive race pace. I think we can run at the front tomorrow, so I'll be looking for a good start to get away with the leaders early on."
"Gusts of wind were catching me at high speed and threatening to wash away the front end of my Rizla Suzuki. Normally I would grit my teeth and ride through that, but I am riding with an injury and cannot afford to crash under any circumstances, so I played it safe for the second day in a row.
"I have a strong race setting and the speed of the GSX-R1000 is fantastic. I sincerely hope the wind dies down for tomorrow and if it does, then I am confident we can go out and score good points."
Stewart Johnstone, Chief Technician to JR:
"JR did a good a job today given the weather conditions. He is wary of crashing again and hurting himself further and that is something none of us want to happen. He is here to score whatever points he can, test his Rizla Suzuki and build his confidence.
"Scott was amongst the top two or three fastest on race rubber and is riding well. When it came to qualifying he wasn't able to replicate that form but there are no points for today, they are only awarded tomorrow and we are confident he is going to be quick over all 22-laps of each race."
Qualifying Times: 1: Michael Rutter (Honda) 1:15.601, 2: Leon Haslam (Ducati) +0.134, 3: Sean Emmett (Yamaha) +0.146, 4: Karl Harris (Honda) +0.318, 5: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +0.345, 6: Glen Richards (Kawasaki) +0.440, 7: Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) +0.538, 8: SCOTT SMART (RIZLA SUZUKI) +0.703, 9: Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +0.764, 10: Dean Thomas (Kawasaki) +0.775, 17 JOHN REYNOLDS (RIZLA SUZUKI) +1.804.