WFR Honda's Alex Lowes rocketed to the top of the MCE British Superbike second free practice timesheets at Brands Hatch this afternoon, setting fastest time with his final lap to demote fellow title fighter Shane Byrne to second spot.
Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki man Byrne had only just set the quickest time of 1'26.689 to go ahead of Buildbase BMW's Barry Burrell but Lowes had other ideas, posting a 1'26.264 to go the best part of half-a-second faster as the chequered flag came out.
Josh Brookes, who is only nine points behind series leader Byrne, put his Tyco Suzuki in fourth place and is 0.7s behind Lowes while Karl Harris, second fastest this morning, slipped back to fifth place but is in touch with the leaders with his lap of 1'27.090.
Lowes' team-mate James Westmoreland looks on course to bag the Riders' Cup title and put his Fireblade in sixth place ahead of Michael Laverty, who has gone someway to finding a cure for the grip issues he was experiencing this morning. Reigning champion Tommy Hill is eighth and a second off the pace.
Supersonic BMW's Tommy Bridewell had put himself in fifth place but a subsequent crash and trip to the medical centre for a check-up saw the Devizes swearbox slip down the order to ninth. He has subsequently been taken to hospital with a finger injury. Chris Walker's Primo Kawasaki rounded out the top ten.
Stuart Easton found some pace over the lunch hour to go 11th fastest with Peter Hickman, Michael Rutter, Jon Kirkham, and Luca Scassa rouding out the top ten. Jason O'Halloran, on his BSB debut, was 19th.