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Oulton BSB: Brookes back on top for FP2

VisionTrack Ducati’s Josh Brookes was back on form at Oulton Park on Friday afternoon as he completed the day fastest overall in the Bennetts British Superbike times.

A 1’34.201 gifted the Australian the honours, with a late charge from Peter Hickman securing the FHO rider safely in second. Ducati’s Tommy Bridewell completing the top three for the second time today.

All eight Showdown contenders comfortably made it into the Superpicks 12 for tomorrow’s Q2 session with less than a second covering the top 12.


The 40-minute session was only five minutes old though when the red flag came out due to a crash involving Ryan Vickers at Knickerbrook, the RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki man having also fallen in the morning’s session.

When it got back underway, Hickman wasted no time in improving upon his FP1 time, the FHO Racing BMW runner the first to dip below 1’35 with a 1’34.933 whilst Lee Jackson was another early improver as he briefly moved up to third on the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki.

That changed shortly afterwards with championship leader Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) jumping up to second, from eighth, just one-tenth behind Hickman’s pace-setting time. Christian Iddon also made his move up the leaderboard as he went from 12th to fifth on the second VisionTrack Ducati before O’Halloran’s teammate Tarran Mackenzie pushed him down a place.

O’Halloran then went quickest with a 1’34.667 and, after 10 minutes, he led from Hickman, Danny Buchan, Glenn Irwin, Jackson, Brookes and Mackenzie, the latter moving up inside the top 12 after lying in P13 after the first free practice session. Meanwhile, Vickers’ crash saw him soon drop out of the all-important promotion zone.

O’Halloran was really putting a mark down early on and he went quicker still with a 1’34.486 with Brookes closing to within a quarter of a second as he moved up from fifth. Hickman was the only other rider in the 1’34’s, just 0.061s behind Brookes.

Fifteen minutes into the session and Irwin became the fourth rider to lap below 1’35s although he remained in fourth overall on the Honda Racing machine as a number of riders called into the pits for mid-session adjustments. Hickman was still on track though and although he still lay in third, he improved on his personal best to close to within 0.007s of Brookes.

With 15 minutes to go, Bridewell made a big jump up from ninth to second after lapping at 1’34.660 on the Oxford Products Ducati and Bradley Ray also made a significant move as he placed fifth. However, just as the Rich Energy OMG racing rider threatened to go quicker still, his charge ended as he crashed at Knickerbrook on his next lap, fortunately without injury.

Bridewell’s charge continued though and he went quickest with a lap of 1’34.471 which put him just 0.015s clear of O’Halloran as less than three quarters of a second covered the top 10 with 10 minutes to go.

As the session entered its final stages, Buchan was finally able to improve upon his FP1 time and dropped into the 1’34s on the Synetiq BMW although he slipped back to eighth as Jackson went up three places to fifth. Brookes also improved his time but remained in third, 0.201s adrift of Bridewell whilst Iddon leapt up five places to fifth with four minutes to go.


Gino Rea also made some strides forward towards the end as he slotted into sixth overall and that meant Mackenzie was on the cusp of dropping out of the top 12, in 12th, although he had a healthy advantage over those directly below him.

The biggest change though came when Brookes went quickest with a 1’34.432 and the reigning champion didn’t stop there as he went quicker still at 1’34,201, his advantage over second placed Bridewell now 0.270s. Teammate Iddon also went quicker again and moved up to fourth.

A late lap by Hickman, however, enabled him to go second quickest overall, with the top 12 completed by Bridewell, O’Halloran, Iddon, Rea, Jackson, Ray, Glenn Irwin, Buchan, Andrew Irwin and Mackenzie.

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