Brands BSB: Byrne blasts to top spot in second practice
Shane Byrne ended day one at Brands Hatch on top after setting the pace in the second Bennetts British Superbike Championship free practice session.
At his local track, the Be Wiser Ducati rider clocked a 45.384sec lap, in a session marred by a crash by Honda Racing’s Dan Linfoot.
In contrast to this morning’s wet session, the track had dried by the time the pack headed out for FP2 this afternoon and all the riders went straight out as soon as the pit lane opened.
In the first few minutes, Byrne’s team-mate Glenn Irwin once again got a quick start as he and JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam traded places at the top of the timesheets.
Sylvain Barrier was an early faller as he tipped off the Smiths Racing BMW less than 10 minutes in, as Christian Iddon moved to the top, before heading back to his box for some changes to his Tyco BMW.
After sitting out the first session, defending champ Byrne needed to get some track time under his belt, and wasted little time in exerting his authority as he went quickest just 15 minutes in, setting a 46.007.
For the next 10minutes very little changed, until Linfoot went second quickest. However, moments later he crashed at Graham Hill Bend, his Fireblade clearing the barrier and the session was stopped as he was stretchered off to the medical centre.
He was reported as being conscious in the ambulance and was then taken to hospital for further investigation and scans.
When the session re-started, Haslam was fast straight out of the blocks, clocking the first sub 46 second lap, then bettering it on his next lap as he chipped off a couple of hundredths.
With five minutes to go, FP1 leader Jason O’Halloran went quickest, but it wasn’t to last, as suddenly several riders started to swap places.
Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha’s James Ellison, Irwin and Byrne all gave it a go, but in the end it was Byrne’s lap, set two minutes before the flag, which was the one that stuck.
Ellison ended the day second, ahead of Iddon, while Luke Mossey on the second JG Speedfit Kawasaki was fourth fastest.
O’Halloran ended the day fifth fastest with Irwin sixth, Haslam seventh, Smiths BMW’s Peter Hickman eighth, Buildbase Suzuki’s Richard Cooper ninth and Jake Dixon 10th.