GLENN Irwin set the pace at Brands Hatch this morning as the sixth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship got underway.
The Be Wiser Ducati rider clocked his best lap of 1’25.523s just nine minutes into the session, and it was enough to keep him on top all the way to the flag.
Despite claims of sunshine around the Brands Hatch GP circuit, the skies remained grey throughout although it did little to affect the temperatures, with track conditions sticking at around 31 degrees.
In the first eight minutes, several riders swapped places at the top of the timesheets as Josh Brookes, Danny Buchan, Luke Mossey and Glenn Irwin all jostled for position, as the times started to drop into the 1’25s.
Irwin set his fast time on his eighth lap, as much of the field began to dip in and out of the pits. Both Glenn and his brother Andrew made the most of the session and used it to bank as many laps as they could, as did Team WD-40’s Mason Law.
Tommy Bridewell appeared to make a strong start to his new tenure with the Moto Rapido Ducati team, quickly slotting into 12th spot early on, although he ended up dropping down to 17th by the end of the session.
Everyone headed out for the final five minutes and James Ellison was the first big mover, shooting from 11th up to third on the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha.
With just over a minute to go, Taz Mackenzie powered his McAMS Yamaha up to second with a 1’25.880 as team-mate Brookes moved into third just 0.074s behind.
But Brookes wasn’t having that, and stuck in another lap as the flag fell, this time banking a 1’25.638 to move into second spot, as Irwin’s earlier lap was enough to stay on top.
With Mackenzie and Ellison sticking in third and fourth spots, Mossey ended the session quickest of the JG Speedfit Kawasaki boys in fifth, as Christian Iddon was the fastest Tyco BMW rider in sixth.
RAF Regulars & Reserves Kawasaki rider Jake Dixon was seventh ahead of the Smiths Racing BMW of Peter Hickman, while Leon Haslam and Michael Laverty rounded out the top 10.