FHO Racing’s Peter Hickman took the opening practice honours at Cadwell Park on Friday morning thanks to a 1’26.623 lap as the Bennetts British Superbike weekend fired into action.
VisionTrack Ducati’s Josh Brookes was back to his hard-charging best in second as the Australian completed the first 40-minutes just two-tenths off the leading pace, with Ryan Vickers placing his RAF Kawasaki in third.
Oxford Products Tommy Bridewell headed the standings as Friday morning’s opening BSB practice got underway at the mountain track, 1’27.299 the Ducati’s pace before factory Panigale rider Christian Iddon took charge. Fresh from topping Thursday evening’s test session, Glenn Irwin was the next to strike, slipping his Honda into the 0.066s gap, to sit second, three-hundredths away from each.
Brookes was back at one of his favourite hunting grounds and running fourth after 10-minutes on track, Lee Jackson and Vickers behind with Rory Skinner, Dan Linfoot, Hickman, and Gino Rea completing the top-10. Jason O’Halloran starting his local race in subdued style from 11th.
Jackson was on top at the halfway stage, having shaved a mere 0.013s off Iddon’s target, with the impressively close top-five now covered by less than one-tenth of a second.
There was no change to the times as the mid-session continued, Hickman advancing the pace with 10-minutes to go as he reduced the target with a 1’27.069. Rea was the next improver as he moved up to eighth, with Andrew Irwin and Brad Ray getting the better of the championship leader on the edge of the top-10, Dean Harrison sitting 18th after a crash in the final sector.
The closing minutes saw Hickman improve once again, 1’26.632 the time to beat with a minute left to run, as Brookes took second, two-tenths behind. Vickers was up to third from a late-charging O’Halloran with Jackson demoted to fifth at the flag. Iddon and Irwin sat sixth and seventh as the session concluded with Bridewell relegating the trio to steal fourth in the dying seconds. Ray and the younger Irwin completed the top-10.