MCE British Superbike title challengers Buildbase BMW’s Ryuichi Kiyonari and Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki’s Shane Byrne only completed a handful of laps during the opening free practice session at Brands Hatch in damp conditions this morning.
The session was declared a wet practice as the track was still soggy from an early morning rain shower a few hours before, and Byrne left it till there were only six minutes left of the outing to make his way out of the pits, with Kiyonari quickly following suit.
They only completed five laps, with Kiyonari the faster out of the pair – lapping a 1’39.416 to go fourth on the timesheets, with local rider, Byrne ending the morning in 19th, after a 1’43.174. In the end it was Quattro Plant Kawasaki’s Howie Mainwaring who set the fastest time, with a 1’36.944, and was the only racer to lap inside the 1’36 bracket. His team-mate, Dan Linfoot was 0.6 seconds off the pace, with GBmoto Kawasaki’s James Ellison rounding up the top three.
At the 30 minute mark it was Tyco Suzuki's Josh Waters who initially set the pace with a 1’40.767, followed by Westmoreland and Showdown rider, Dan Linfoot. With 15 minutes left of the opening free practice Westmoreland went a tenth faster than Waters to clock a 1’40.603 to top the timesheets. Mainwaring went 0.1 seconds faster, to head the timing-screens only for Westmoreland to go a tenth quicker almost immediately after the tall haired rider set his fastest lap - but that was not to last.
The sun began to shine on Brands Hatch and the track began to dry up. Milwaukee Yamaha’s Josh Brookes did make his way out on the track but quickly made his way back to the pits, as it looked like the conditions were not to his liking – but five minutes later made his way back on the circuit, but only completed two laps.
Team WD-40’s new rider Aussie, Bryan Staring experienced a technical problem at Hawthorns, but soon got started again and rejoined the session. The World Superbike rider is racing in place of Barry Burrell who left the WD-40 outfit this week. Staring ended FP1 in 12th on the sheets.
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