Leon Haslam picked up where he left off at Snetterton as he blasted to the top of this morning’s first Bennetts British Superbike free practice session on the newly-resurfaced Knockhill circuit.
The JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider clocked a 47.674s lap in the final seconds of FP1 to lead the order by over a tenth of a second.
Be Wiser Ducati’s Glenn Irwin, fresh off a 2019 contract signing with team boss Paul Bird, topped the timesheets early on as he skirted the low 48s lap times.
But Haslam stamped his authority on the Scottish track as became the first rider to crack the 47 mark with a 47.998s.
The championship leader went even faster with a 47.729 while Dan Linfoot, Michael Laverty and Danny Buchan slotted into the top five, before riders headed to the pits for changes.
As they began to make their way back out with 30 minutes remaining in the session, FS-3 Racing Kawasaki man Buchan jumped up to second with a 48.050.
But a few minutes later, Irwin pushed him back down to third as he broke the 48-barrier with a 47.793, just 0.064s adrift of Haslam, while the order behind remained largely unchanged.
Tyco BMW’s Laverty pipped Buchan for third by a mere 0.002s, while Linfoot trailed the former National Superstock champ by just 0.005s in fifth.
In a frantic final seven minutes, however, Buchan levered Laverty aside for third while Christian Iddon jumped up to fourth, pushing the Northern Irishman down to fifth.
Laverty and Linfoot weren’t quite finished as they both moved up to third and fourth, before Buildbase Suzuki’s Bradley Ray slotted into third to knock them back a place.
RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki’s Jake Dixon ended the session sixth fastest as the final rider in the 47s, while Buchan just missed out with a 48.000s lap.
Just 0.001s behind was Richard Cooper in eighth, a mere 0.007s ahead of Iddon and 0.059s clear of Luke Mossey, who rounded out the top ten.