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Silverstone BSB: O’Halloran back on top for FP3

Championship leader Jason O’Halloran topped Saturday morning’s Bennetts British Superbike Championship free practice session at Silverstone.

The McAMS Yamaha man setting the fastest lap of the weekend to date, 53.205s, to get the better of Vision Track Ducati’s Josh Brookes and Friday’s pace setter Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati).
Rory Skinner (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) made the early running in the 20-minute session with a time of 54.917s before Gino Rea (Buildbase Suzuki) bettered that by almost half a second and it was then Dan Linfoot’s turn to go quickest, the TAG Racing Honda rider just 0.001s quicker than Rea.
Third time around and Glenn Irwin and Danny Buchan went first and second quickest, the Honda Racing rider posting a 54.120s lap, half a second slower than Bridewell’s quickest time from Friday.
FHO Racing BMW’s Peter Hickman became the first rider to get into the 53’s with a time of 53.972s but Keith Farmer was out of luck after suffering a technical issue at Brooklands on the iForce Lloyd & Jones BMW. The red flag came out soon afterwards when Sam Cox crashed out at Luffield, the NP Motorcycles BMW rider subsequently getting to his feet.
With Hickman on top from Kyle Ryde (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) and Irwin, the session still had 15 minutes to go and Rea immediately went quickest once more, albeit by the slender margin of 0.070s, and it was then Bridewell’s turn to take over after lapping at 53.802s.
Rea retaliated with a 53.744s and Irwin slotted into third but with 11 minutes to go, Bridewell was again on top with a 53.738s. Honda’s Ryo Mizuno was also going well in fourth on a 53.917s lap, half a second quicker than what he’d managed on Friday.
Team-mate Irwin then took over the top spot with a time of 53.691s with the leading nine riders all lapping below 54s. Two of those were Brookes and Christian Iddon, the VisionTrack Ducati pairing another two riders to better their Friday time.
Indeed, Brookes put in a 53.664s lap with eight minutes to go which saw him jump to the top of the leaderboard, Irwin, Bridewell, Rea, Ryde and Ryan Vickers following in quick succession but championship leader O’Halloran quickly changed that order as he slotted into fourth.
With three minutes to go, Bridewell reasserted his authority on proceedings with his lap of 53.512s before a late change saw Ryde jump up to third. Last year’s double race winner wasn’t done there either and he bumped Bridewell off the top spot with a lap of 53.419s.
However, his lap was cancelled and, instead, it was O’Halloran who ended the session quickest with a late lap of 53.205s giving him a 0.235s advantage over Brookes who also improved in the late stages.
Bridewell had to settle for third on this occasion with Ryde taking fourth ahead of Tarran Mackenzie on the second McAMS Yamaha, Irwin, Vickers, Rea, Buchan and Hickman.

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