Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Brookes dominated the MCE British Superbike final free practice session at a damp Knockhill circuit this morning. The Aussie was never out of the top three fastest times and ended the session with a 50.132 time on his final lap.
An earlier rain shower meant the track was still wet in places, but throughout the 45 minute session the circuit dried up in some areas, and most of the riders decided to venture out on slicks later on in the free practice. With one minute of the session remaining Brookes was a second faster than the rest of the grid, but Samsung Honda’s Alex Lowes put in his fastest lap with less than ten seconds before the end with a 50.638 lap, but it was not enough to over throw Brookes from the top of the time-sheets.
It was a positive session for the Quattro Plant Kawasaki team, with both riders getting safely inside the top five quickest times. Danny Buchan was 0.2 seconds faster than his team-mate Chris Walker, with the veteran rider finishing the session with a 51.313 lap. GBmoto rider Dan Linfoot clocked the fifth quickest time with a 51.468 lap. The Englishman has returned this weekend to the British Superbike paddock after being out since April with a pelvis injury that he sustained during the first round at Brands Hatch.
Samsung Honda’s Ryuichi Kiyonari did reach as high as second in the time-sheets during the session, but after spending sometime in the pits came out with two minutes left on full slick tyres, but failed to make an impact and ended up finishing sixth fastest with a 51.515 lap. But the Japanese rider was quicker than GBmoto’s Peter Hickman.
Rapido Sport Racing’s Matteo Baiocco clocked the eighth fastest time in this morning’s session. The rider only experienced the Scottish circuit for the first time yesterday, and the debutant was even faster than Milwaukee Yamaha’s James Ellison. The Cumbrian rider appeared to struggle again in the practice session and was two seconds down from leader, Brookes and could only manage a 52.088 lap, with Bathams Honda Michael Rutter rounding off the top ten.
There was a notable absentee from the grid; Ridersmotorcyles BMW’s Martin Jessopp will take no further part in the race weekend. The rider suffered a broken coccyx after a crash in free practice yesterday.
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