JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Luke Mossey was the quickest rider in the opening MCE British Superbike free practice session at Thruxton, but it turned out to be the battle of the ZX-10RRs as he was chased hard by FS-3 Racing’s Billy McConnell.
Mossey lapped in a 1’15.213 and at the end of the 45 minute outing went 0.324s quicker than fellow Kawasaki man McConnell. Another rider who excelled on the flat circuit was Honda Racing’s Dan Linfoot.
Fresh from his Suzuka debut, the Fireblade man was at the head of the timesheets for a period, until he was dethroned by Mossey and McConnell. Linfoot ended the morning the third fastest rider, with a 1’15.610.
Smiths Racing’s Peter Hickman and Jakub Smrz were never outside the top ten times during the session and finished with 1’15.715 and 1’15924 times respectively to complete the top five.
At first it was Be Wiser Ducati’s Shane Byrne who was the man in charge, only for Josh Brookes to go even faster with a 1’15.984. Then Linfoot soared to the top for the first time this weekend with a 1’15.610 with eight minutes remaining.
Then two minutes later McConnell went one tenth quicker to go P1 on the sheets. With a handful of minutes left Mossey propelled his ZX-10RR to the very top of the timesheets and a tiny 0.02s separated the young gun from the Australian for a short time, as Mossey improved his pace.
When the chequered flag appeared at the side of the Hampshire circuit Brookes was pushed down to sixth, followed by the Be Wiser Ducati pairing of Byrne and Irwin. The reigning champion went 0.01s faster than the Northern Irishman.
O’Halloran, Hopkins, Jessopp, Dixon, Westmoreland, Haslam and Jackson rounded up the top fifteen times. JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam did initially spend a lot of time in the garage as he had engine issues, but he did manage to complete 15 laps.
There was a familiar face in the session, as veteran racer, Michael Rutter was back the Bathams BMW for this session, in preparation for the up and coming roads events. As was Bennetts Suzuki’s Michael Dunlop. The road racing stars ended FP1 in 26th and 27th respectively.