Christian Iddon topped this morning’s third Bennetts British Superbike free practice session as mixed conditions hit Oulton Park.
Tyco BMW’s leading rider made a late dash after the chequered flag flew to lead Andrew Irwin and Joe Francis by two seconds.
Dan Linfoot had splashed to the top of the timesheets early in the session, but the attrition kicked off just minutes in as Keith Farmer stopped with a technical problem while McAMS Yamaha’s Jason O’Halloran hit the deck at Lodge.
Meanwhile, Iddon and yesterday’s runner-up Danny Buchan moved up to second and third ahead of Irwin and Buildbase Suzuki’s Bradley Ray.
But Oxford Ducati man Tommy Bridewell continued to find pace as he went second quickest, just a tenth off Linfoot, before the Yorkshireman went over a second quicker than his best of the session.
Bridewell was on the move, however, and he powered into the lead moments later just three hundredths ahead of Linfoot.
As riders continued to venture out onto the wet circuit, Saturday front-runner Josh Brookes jumped up to seventh with just his first flying lap while Buchan and Bridewell became the first men to crack the 1’47s before the Australian joined them.
Times began to tumble as rain cleared and the track began to dry, but hopes of any improvements for Brookes looked to be brought to an end as he was stopped while heading out of pit lane with a technical issue.
Iddon hit the top with just over 16 minutes to go but after the Be Wiser Ducati squad amended his problem, Brookes continued his dominant practice form as he skipped the 1’46 bracket completely and clocked a 1’45.828, almost 1.2s quicker than the Tyco BMW rider.
Local boy Joe Francis put his Lloyd & Jones Bowker Motorrad BMW up into fourth ahead of JG Speedfit man Glenn Irwin with just over 11 minutes remaining, before brother Andrew pipped him for fifth aboard the Honda Racing machine.
But Glenn, Kawasaki’s lone wolf after team-mate Ben Currie suffered a leg fracture in a crash yesterday, powered into second place just moments before Andrew followed him up the order into third.
The elder Irwin stuck in a late flyer with five minutes to go and grabbed the top spot over half a second clear of Brookes while Smith’s Racing’s Peter Hickman scorched up to second, just 0.250s off the lead.
RAF Regular and Reserves Kawasaki’s strong-running rookie Ryan Vickers grabbed the top spot for a split second with the first 1’44 of the session, but Glenn had it straight back before Francis clocked the first 1’43 to lead the session.
With his last ditch effort after the chequered flag, Iddon topped the times a full two seconds ahead of Francis, who finished the session third after Andrew pipped him for the runner-up spot
Glenn bagged fourth ahead of late flyer Scott Redding while Vickers and Hickman finished sixth and seventh.
Brookes, Raceways Yamaha’s rookie Matt Truelove and Buildbase ace Luke Stapleford rounded out the top 10.