Josh Brookes took control of early action at Cadwell Park this morning as he beat Danny Buchan to lead the first Bennetts British Superbike practice today.
The Be Wiser Ducati rider led the entire session from start to finish, pipping FS-3 Kawasaki’s leading man by less than a tenth of a second as riders narrowly escaped bad weather - which is said to be on its way to the Lincolnshire circuit later today.
Within the first few laps, Brookes, who had led yesterday’s test, had hit the lead ahead of Tommy Bridewell and Christian Iddon, but it was bad luck for Peter Hickman who tipped off his Smith’s BMW at the Hairpin less than 10 minutes into the session.
Brookes continued to up the pace as he clocked a 1’27.941, despite drops of rain in all sectors early on, with Bridwell only able to lap within 0.6s of the Aussie.
RAF Regular and Reserves’ Ryan Vickers jumped ahead of Santander Salt TAG Racing’s Dan Linfoot to take over fourth early on, but the youngster was still nearly 1.5s off the leading lap time.
With less than 10 minutes to go, Hickman got back out on circuit and deposed Vickers as both he and Cadwell rookie Scott Redding moved into fourth and fifth with low 1’29s laps.
But just a couple of laps later it was all change as Hickman shot forward to second with a 1’28.061 with FS-3 Kawasaki’s Danny Buchan trailing by just 0.010s to move into third.
They were both knocked back by Redding before Buchan and Hickman again got ahead, dropping into the 1’27 bracket as McAMS Yamaha’s Jason O’Halloran went fifth quickest.
But at the front, Brookes bolstered his lead with a 1’27.221 moments before Hickman hit the deck once again with a crash at Charlie’s.
Oxford Ducati man Bridewell soon joined the leaders in the 1’27s bracket to go third fastest with three minutes to go, splitting Buchan and Hickman, but PBM’s Redding made a late charge to jump ahead of Hickman and move into fourth with a 1’27.785.
Brookes continued to control action as the chequered flag dropped, only coming under threat from Buchan who got within 0.096s as the session came to a close.
The Ducatis of Bridewell and Redding finished third and fourth with Honda Racing’s Andrew Irwin and crash-hit Hickman rounding out the top six.
Vickers and O’Halloran led home Tyco BMW’s duo of Glenn Irwin and Christian Iddon, who completed the top 10.