Oxford Racing Ducati’s Tommy Bridewell will lead the Bennetts British Superbike pace into tomorrow’s qualifying two session after heading today’s Superpicks free practice.
The new system sees top 12 riders on combined times automatically secure their place in Saturday’s BSB Superpicks Q2. The remaining 16 riders will take part in the qualifying one, with the fastest six progressing into Q2, making 18 riders in the final battle for the race one pole position.
Bridewell set a 1’35.067 to top the afternoon times in a session that was heavily delayed due to track contamination. He headed this morning’s quickest man Jason O’Halloran with Ducati’s Christian Iddon third.
At the beginning of the session Kyle Ryde had been one of the first riders to move to the top of the times, however it wasn’t long before Christian Iddon had moved ahead for the VisionTrack Ducati team.
The Rich Energy OMG Racing BMWs were on the attack though and Bradley Ray went to the top, only for his teammate Ryde to displace him shortly afterwards.
Ryde was heading the times from Danny Buchan, Ray and Josh Brookes when a technical problem for Joey Thompson caused a red flag for track contamination.
A final shootout for the top 12 positions commenced when the session resumed as Buchan headed to the top of the times for SYNETIQ BMW ahead of Danny Kent, Iddon, Gino Rea and O’Halloran.
McAMS Yamaha then went to the top of the times as O’Halloran upped the pace again to move ahead of Iddon who was then in second positon and Buchan.
However Bridewell was on a roll and his final sequence of laps fired him to the top of the times in the closing three minutes to hold off O’Halloran and Iddon.
Ray’s final lap put him up into fourth position ahead of Buchan and Peter Hickman who led the FHO Racing BMW charge.
Tarran Mackenzie made it both McAMS Yamahas in the top eight as he held off Lee Jackson and Danny Kent with his final run.
Defending champion Brookes completed the top ten for VisionTrack Ducati as Glenn Irwin and Gino Rea completed the 12 riders who will automatically progress into tomorrow’s Q2.
Top 12 Superpicks
1 46 Tommy BRIDEWELL GBR Ducati - Oxford Products Racing Ducati
2 22 Jason O’HALLORAN AUS Yamaha - McAMS Yamaha
3 21 Christian IDDON GBR Ducati - VisionTrack Ducati
4 28 Bradley RAY GBR BMW - RICH Energy OMG Racing BMW
5 83 Danny BUCHAN GBR BMW - SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad
6 60 Peter HICKMAN GBR BMW - FHO Racing BMW
7 95 Tarran MACKENZIE GBR Yamaha - McAMS Yamaha
8 14 Lee JACKSON GBR Kawasaki - FS-3 Racing Kawasaki
9 52 Danny KENT GBR Suzuki - Buildbase Suzuki
10 1 Josh BROOKES AUS Ducati - VisionTrack Ducati
11 2 Glenn IRWIN GBR Honda - Honda Racing
12 44 Gino REA GBR Suzuki - Buildbase Suzuki