Be Wiser Ducati’s Scott Redding dominated the opening Bennetts British Superbike session of the weekend as he controlled almost the entire first practice.
The championship leader hit the top of the times just a few laps into track action on his first visit to the Norfolk circuit, beating Peter Hickman after the roads ace stuck in a late charge to go second quickest.
Fresh off his maiden win at Knockhill three weeks ago, FS-3 Kawasaki’s Buchan shot straight to the top with his first flyer before Redding blasted ahead by almost a second to take over at the top with just under seven laps completed.
Buchan quickly got back ahead, but Redding grabbed control again moments later, becoming the first man of the day to dip into the 1’49s bracket.
McAMS Yamaha’s Tarran Mackenzie and local rider Luke Mossey moved up into the top five just ahead of Brookes with just over 30 minutes to go, while Santander Salt TAG Racing’s Dan Linfoot clocked a time just a few hundredths of a second behind the Aussie.
The diminutive Scotsman joined Redding in the 1’49s with a third of the session remaining, but PBM’s Redding was still almost half a second in the clear as the clock wound down.
With a few minutes to go, there was a flurry of action at the top of the leaderboard as Linfoot powered into second place, just a tenth off Redding, before the former GP rider bolstered his lead and went almost half a second quicker before clocking a 1’48.817 to stamp his authority on the session.
Smith’s BMW man Hickman stuck in a late hot lap to end the session just over two tenths behind Redding with a 1’49.033, nudging Linfoot down to third with Mackenzie a mere 0.009s further back.
Former Snetterton winner Jason O’Halloran ended the session fifth ahead of Buchan and OMG Suzuki’s Luke Mossey.
Buildbase Suzuki’s Luke Stapleford, Oxford Ducati man Tommy Bridewell and the second Be Wiser Ducati of Josh Brookes completed the top 10.