Glenn Irwin stuck in an 11th-hour flyer this morning as he powered to the top spot in the third Bennetts British Superbike practice session.
The Be Wiser Ducati Racing Team man put in the fastest lap of the weekend so far with a 47.347 in the closing minutes of the 45-minute FP3, nearly a tenth of a second faster than Josh Brookes.
But it was all a shuffle in the first 10 minutes as Danny Buchan briefly picked up where he left off yesterday, going fastest with a 47.803, before Irwin deposed him with a 47.738.
As they settled into a rhythm early on, Bradley Ray, Jake Dixon and Dan Linfoot dipped into the 47s as they went third, fourth and fifth fastest.
JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam went second fastest after a trip to the pits, while Buildbase Suzuki’s Richard Cooper nudged Ray back to fifth with a 47.842.
With just over half the session remaining, RAF Regular & Reserves’ Dixon pipped Irwin for the top spot by 0.020s, while Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha’s James Ellison crept into view in seventh, a mere 0.001s clear of Michael Laverty.
Ray soon shot up to second, but Dixon had put himself well clear with a 47.479, just a few thousandths under Danny Buchan’s scorching time from yesterday. And before long, FS-3 Racing Kawasaki’s Buchan and Dixon were back scrapping at the top - this time with last year’s Knockhill double-winner in front.
But in the final two minutes, Irwin blasted to the front with the 47.347s lap which gave him the top spot, a time that no one could come close to, while McAMS Yamaha’s Brookes came from well down the order to finish second with a 47.439.
Dixon and Buchan, who hadn’t set faster laps in the final 20 minutes, finished third and fourth ahead of Cooper, Haslam and Ray.
Andrew Irwin, Like Mossey and Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon rounded out the top ten.