Oxford Racing Ducati’s Tommy Bridewell was the only rider who could get near Scott Redding in the second Bennetts British Superbike free practice at Assen and he was half-a-second slower than the MotoGP man.
Redding is two-tenths under Leon Haslam’s lap record in only his second session riding the Be Wiser Panigale V4R at the Dutch track and opened a 0.439s gap over similarly-mounted Bridewell with next-best runner Jason O’Halloran six-tenths off the pace.
And Redding’s 1’36.060 does not bode well for championship leader Josh Brookes who, despite a late flurry this afternoon, finds himself 1.2s slower than his team-mate with six riders separating him from the top three.
O’Halloran leapt into third place with four minutes left of the session to run, posting a 1’36.830 to demote Dan Linfoot to fourth and former GP runner Hector Barbera followed him up the leaderboard, into fifth, pushing the TAG Racing rider down to sixth.
Just as the chequered flag was unfurled, former WorldSSP runner Luke Stapleford smashed his way into the top four, setting a 1’36.997.
Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon had been as high as third with ten minutes left but he tumbled down the order to ninth as faster laps came in.
Peter Hickman hauled himself into seventh as the highest non-Ducati Showdown contender, putting in a 1’37.120 to finish 0.936 down while former WorldSBK star Xavi Fores, who is well used to the Circuit van Drenthe, nudged ahead of Iddon with a 1’37.208.
Brookes’ final lap of 1’37.284 was enough to keep him inside the top ten and ahead of title challenger Danny Buchan, who put the FS-3 Kawasaki in 11th. Luke Mossy, Ryan Vickers, Bradley Ray and Andrew Irwin completed the top 15.
Tarran Mackenzie’s bod for the 2019 title appears to have stalled as the little Scotsman finished in 18th place and two seconds off the pace. James Ellison was one place further back on the OMG Suzuki while Glenn Irwin, fast this morning, slipped back to 21st.