Title fighter, Shane Byrne once again topped the MCE British Superbike free practice timesheets, and set a 1’25.245 in dry but cold conditions at his local track of Brands Hatch.
There was a red flag during the free practice outing, with seven minutes remaining, and that was down to RAF Reserves Kawasaki’s Jake Dixon who crashed at Hawthorn Bend. The showdown rider did walk away from the incident and the session was soon restarted.
JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam nearly matched the pace set by Byrne and the current championship leader went P3 at the flag, with a 1’25.392, and was only a tenth off the Be Wiser backed Panigale.
McAMS Yamaha’s Michael Laverty was proving to be a showdown spoiler as he was the second quickest rider during FP2. The Wales-based R1 racer was 0.03s faster than Haslam, with Moto Rapido Ducati’s John Hopkins clocking the fourth fastest time.
Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon was also up the sharp end and the Riders Cup contendee completed the top five. Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha’s Josh Brookes holds the lap record at the Kent track and a 1’25.542 was good enough to go P6.
Linfoot, Guintoli, O’Halloran and Irwin rounded up the top ten. Before the crash, Dixon was second on the timing-screens but then slipped back to 12th. Smiths BMW’s Peter Hickman can still mathematically win the championship, but he was P14 when the chequered flag appeared.