Snetterton BSB: Takahashi tops wet final practice

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Picture: Impact Images

Honda Racing’s Takumi Takahashi topped a weather-affected final free practice session for the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Snetterton on Saturday morning

With light rain falling just as the session started, only a handful of riders ventured out on track initially, Ryan Vickers’ lap of 2’08.989s some 30s of Friday’s pace and highlighting the tricky conditions.

The FHO Racing BMW rider increased his pace to 2’07.537s, 1.5s quicker than Leon Haslam and those two, along with Leon Jeacock, Josh Owens and Dean Harrison were the only five riders to register a lap time in the first 15 minutes.

The second half of the session saw more riders take to the 2.99-mile circuit, but it was Vickers who continued to lead the way and with ten minutes to go, his lap of 2’05.641s put him almost a second quicker than Haslam with Takahashi, Lee Jackson, Tommy Bridewell and Storm Stacey rounding out the top six.

Jackson then went quickest with a lap of 2’05.461s, two tenths of a second quicker than Vickers, with Haslam and Takahashi closely following, less than half a second covering the top four.

The Kawasaki rider then shaved another tenth of his time, but it was Takahashi who was the first rider to lap in the 2’04’s, a lap of 2’04.707s putting him 0.692s clear of the rest of the field. Team-mate Glenn Irwin went second quickest in the closing stages, three tenths slower only for Peter Hickman to push him down to third, the BMW man just the second rider to lap in the 2’04’s.

Takahashi’s final lap of 2’04.302s restored his advantage of six tenths of a second with Hickman holding on to second ahead of Irwin, the third Honda on Ryo Mizuno, Jackson and early pace setter Vickers.

Buildbase Suzuki team-mates Danny Kent and Christian Iddon, Haslam and Storm Stacey completed the top ten.