Jason O’Halloran second quickest – Broc Parkes eighth
Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne bounced back from a high-speed crash in the opening MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship free practice session to top the times at his home circuit of Brands Hatch today ahead of tomorrow’s Datatag Qualifying.
Byrne continued to up the pace in a frantic afternoon session as it became a battle between Be Wiser Ducati and Honda Racing teams at the top of the times. Dan Linfoot had initially held the advantage into the final ten minutes of the session, but the thundering Ducatis were closing in and four-time champion Shakey moved to the top.
Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran was next to strike as he moved second in the final minutes to split the Be Wiser Ducatis with rookie Glenn Irwin moving third to push Linfoot back to fourth at the chequered flag.
Richard Cooper had a strong opening day holding fifth place for the Buildbase BMW team, narrowly ahead of Tommy Bridewell on the Bennetts Suzuki and Christian Iddon on the leading Tyco BMW.
Broc Parkes had a strong performance on his return to the ePayMe Yamaha team, setting the eighth fastest time with Kawasaki contenders James Ellison and Luke Mossey completing a top ten which featured all six manufactures.
It was a difficult opening day at Brands Hatch for Leon Haslam, the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider missing out on the top ten to hold 15th place, as he bids to overhaul Byrne in the standings.
Billy McConnell ended the session 20th quickest on the FS-3 Kawasaki.
Josh Hook must be struggling to get up to speed at Brands with the young Australian only managing the 31st quickest time on the opening day at Brands, 3.5-seconds off Shakey’s benchmark, and needing to find 2.5-seconds 0n the WD-40 Kawasaki to sneak towards the top ten.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, free practice two result
Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 1m:25.117s
Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +0.558s
Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.715s
Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +0.736s
Richard Cooper (Buildbase BMW) +0.771s
Tommy Bridewell (Bennetts Suzuki) +0.809s
Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.823s
Broc Parkes (ePayMe Yamaha) +0.957s
James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.985s
Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki) +0.987s
Shane Byrne – (Be Wiser Ducati)
“Today has been quite difficult if I am honest. It might look great from a timesheet point of view but we are just suffering a little bit. With the information that we got from the bike when we raced here on the Indy circuit and then Snetterton with a strong weekend there. Plus an even stronger Thruxton and a test at Cadwell Park where we found some good information, but we have arrived at one of my favourite tracks in the world, I adore riding here and I am suffering with the feeling with the front of the bike. I feel like there is an awful lot of time still to come from me and the bike.
“The second session we made some big, big changes, not just little ones to try and improve the feeling and it didn’t really amount to anything. It’s the August ‘big bash’ and I want to win two races, so we need to have some head scratching tonight to find a solution for tomorrow morning. Once we get what we need we can be much faster but more consistent as well.
“The laps at the end came probably more out of frustration than finesse – it was like ‘come on just do as you’re told’ and ringing its neck to make it work. I have said a million times; this is a race bike and when it works good, it works perfectly but when it isn’t, it’s a long way from good too. At the moment it is a bit of a way away and I just got annoyed this afternoon and ragged it for a couple of laps. That’s all well and good but we need a nicer feeling to concentrate on and I am certain it will come.”
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