Be Wiser Ducati’s Josh Brookes continued to control the action at Brands Hatch as he topped today’s final Bennetts British Superbike practice session.
The Australian and team-mate Scott Redding swapped places at the top for nearly the entire session, but Brookes made a late dash to lead by almost half a second while Redding narrowly held off Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon for the runner-up spot.
Tarran Mackenzie went straight to the top with his first flyer, but current championship runner-up Bridewell was right on the case as he powered into second place just ahead of Luke Stapleford.
But FP1 leader Brookes was back in control just a few minutes into proceedings after pipping Mackenzie by a minuscule 0.010s.
Meanwhile, top Smith’s BMW man Peter Hickman, Scott Redding, Santander Salt TAG Racing’s Dan Linfoot and Christian Iddon completed the top six as the only others in the 1’26s bracket.
Riders hit the pits with 30 minutes to go after rain threatened and as they returned to the track, drops began to fall again.
But the wet threat didn’t stop Redding, who clocked the exact same time as his team-mate – a 1’26.335 – to jump into a joint lead.
With just under 10 minutes remaining and heavier rain forecast just before the end of the session, Redding made haste and eclipsed his team-mate for the top spot with a 1’26.096.
Brookes took back control with just over five minutes to go, however, with the first 1’25 of the weekend as he went almost half a second quicker than his fellow PBM rider.
And while Iddon made hay in the closing minute to end the day third fastest, just 0.001s behind Redding, no one was able to make inroads on the Aussie’s top time.
Nearly a quarter of a second back on Iddon was fourth-placed McAMS Yamaha man Mackenzie with Oxford Ducati’s Bridewell, Hickman and Linfoot, who rounded out the top seven.
Second McAMS man Jason O’Halloran finished the session eighth ahead of OMG Suzuki rider Luke Mossey and FS3 Kawasaki’s Danny Buchan.