Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki’s Shane Byrne got his British Superbike season off to a good start by the setting the pace in today’s practice at Brand’s Hatch, a session that saw the top nine within a second of eachother.
Cold conditions in the morning session caused most of the riders to opt out of the first session, the defending champion included. But that didn’t stop him from topping the timesheets in the afternoon.
“It was a bit frustrating this morning – I was like a kid at Christmas wanting to play,” Byrne said. “This afternoon I feel happier as we have done some laps and I am feeling positive that it can only get better now before Sunday.”
Returning three-time BSB Champion Ryuischi Kiyonari also sat out of the morning session, but was setting the pace up until the halfway point and ended up in fourth place overall.
It was the two young-guns Alex Lowes and Tommy Bridewell who filled the gap in between the two veteran champions with the Samsung Honda rider Lowes in second and the Bathams Honda rider Bridewell in third.
James Ellison on the Milwaukee Yamaha was one of the riders to go out in the cold morning session and ended up in fifth place overall and was only .036 of a second faster than last year’s runner-up, Josh Brookes on the Tyco Suzuki. Buildbase BMW’s James Westmoreland made it so there were five manufacturers in the top 10 with his seventh fastest time.
Former British Supersport Champion Karl Harris, on the PR Racing Kawasaki, was marginally faster than the former World Superbike rider Jakub Smrz on the Padgett Honda. Finally, veteran Chris Walker on the Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki rounded out the top 10.
American PJ Jacobsen finished the day in 13th in his British Superbike debut.
Free Practice Two:
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 46.787s
2: Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) +0.086s
3: Tommy Bridewell (Bathams Honda) +0.309s
4: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +0.524s
5: James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.538s
6: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.574s
7: James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +0.777s
8: Karl Harris (PR Racing Kawasaki) +0.784s
9: Jakub Smrz (Padgetts Honda) +0.961s
10: Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) +1.100s