Scott Redding led the entire final Bennetts British Superbike free practice this morning despite engine issues which halted him on circuit.
The Be Wiser Ducati rider stormed into the lead with a hot lap just a few minutes in and clocked a time fast enough to control the entire session, even with 30 minutes of lost time thanks to a bike problem on track.
But it was disaster before even turning a lap for former Moto3 champ Danny Kent as the Bike Devil MV Agusta was given a black and orange flag for machine issues.
Yesterday’s pace-setter Redding, who was reported to have had an overnight engine swap, was straight back to the front of the field early doors with a 1’48 on just his second flying lap before clocking a 1’47.739, the quickest lap of the weekend so far and just under six tenths off the lap record.
But the former MotoGP man was quickly caught out with a technical problem out at Williams and while he made it back to the garage within a few minutes, his Panigale V4, which he admitted had coughed a bit of oil, was still stuck on circuit.
Redding’s lead looked to be safe in hand as the session approached its half-way point, however, as OMG Suzuki’s Luke Mossey was the closest man to him but a full 1.115s off the pace with Andrew Irwin and Josh Brookes nipping at his heels.
After a lull in action and with just a few minutes remaining in the session, McAMS Yamaha’s Tarran Mackenzie shot forward to second place as Smith’s Racing man Hickman and FS-3 Kawasaki’s Danny Buchan followed him into the top four.
But with Redding back on circuit with a repaired bike and still the only man in the 1’47s bracket, no one could get within half a second of his quickest time and the series leader ended the final practice with time to spare.
Behind fourth-placed Buchan sat Mossey, who was unable to improve on his early lap as the final man in the 1’48 bracket ahead of Honda Racing’s Andrew Irwin.
Brookes pipped Jason O’Halloran for seventh after the chequered flag flew while Oxford Racing’s Tommy Bridewell and Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasak’s Hector Barbera rounded out the top.