Be Wiser Ducati’s Shane Byrne was only 0.2 seconds off the outright lap record at the Brands Hatch GP circuit, during the second MCE British Superbike free practice session this afternoon.
He was chased hard on the timing-screens by Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha’s Josh Brookes. Byrne lapped a 1’24.904, and was the only rider to lap a sub 1’25 time. At one point, with 20 minutes remaining to FP2, Brookes went fastest, after a 1’25.322.
The Bringelly rider improved his pace from the earlier free practice outing by three tenths, but he was just edged by Byrne at the Kent track. For Moto Rapido Ducati’s John Hopkins a last lap dash certainly paid off.
The American propelled his Panigale to third on the sheets with a 1’25.405 and in doing so pulled JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Luke Mossey down to fourth, with Smiths Racing’s Peter Hickman rounding up the top five.
It has been a positive race weekend so far for the S1000RR rider as he hasn’t been outside of the top five in either session. Another rider who improved his pace, was Leon Haslam.
The World Superbike wild card racer managed to go one second quicker than in FP1. It appears that Haslam is still having some slight engine issues with the Kawasaki, but he did make gains in the second session. It has been a busy few week’s for Haslam, as he returned to racing at Snetterton after a big crash at Knockhill, then went to Japan for Suzuka Eight-Hours testing, and then to a test at Cadwell.
McAMS Yamaha’s James Ellison and his team-mate Michael Laverty were both inside the top ten, and made big improvements to their R1’s. Honda Racing’s Dan Linfoot ended the afternoon in P8.
The session was red flagged after Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran crashed in the opening minutes. The rider was declared OK at the trackside, but there was damage to the safety barriers at Paddock Hill Bend, so the session had to be postponed.
Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon and Be Wiser Ducati’s Glenn Irwin made their first appearance since their big injuries at Knockhill. Both had to miss competing at the Snetterton round, but they have been declared fit to take part this weekend.
Fresh from a trip to Japan for Suzuka Eight-Hours testing, Iddon finished tenth with a 1’26.202, and Irwin in 22nd.