Tyco BMW’s newest recruit Christian Iddon got his 2016 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship campaign off to a flying start at Silverstone this afternoon (Friday), setting the pace on the opening day as the times began to tumble in the second free practice as conditions improved.
The morning session has taken place in changing conditions as Czech contender Jakub Smrz moved to the top of the times for Smiths Racing BMW. However in the afternoon the pace began to intensify and Iddon waited until his final lap of his session to move to the top of the times, pushing Luke Mossey back to second place by just 0.147s.
Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki’s Mossey had been holding the advantage until the closing stages after he had climbed the order, but he was also being hunted down by America’s John Hopkins who had kicked off his season strongly by ending the opening day third fastest for the ePayMe Yamaha team.
That put four-time MCE BSB champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne back to fourth as the Be Wiser Ducati rider got pushed down the order in the final stages after running at the top of the times earlier in the afternoon session.
Australian Jason O’Halloran was the fastest of the Honda Racing riders, holding fifth position at the chequered flag to make it five different manufacturers in the top ten and four different nationalities.
Smrz who had been the fastest rider in the opening session of 2016 was sixth fastest, narrowly ahead of returning Leon Haslam, who was the fastest of the JG Speedfit Kawasaki riders. Michael Laverty on the second of the Tyco BMWs had split the team-mates, with James Ellison holding ninth place and Martin Jessopp on the RidersMotorcycles.com BMW completing the top ten.
The Bennetts Suzuki squad had narrowly missed out on the top ten with Ryuichi Kiyonari and Tommy Bridewell in eleventh and thirteenth respectively.
Billy McConnell made a last minute pre-season switch to FS-3 Kawasaki and had his first hit-out on the ZX-10R today, putting in the 24th quickest time.
Sam Lambert was 31st quickest as he embarks on his British Supersport adventure.
A number of TT top runners have also entered the Silverstone round, presumably to gain some important seat time ahead of their season. Michael Dunlop, Ian Hutchinson and Bruce Anstey were all on track.
Christian Iddon – P1: 2m:06.617s
“It has been really good today. The morning started out a bit frustrating as it was the first day of school and we weren’t able to go and play in the playground straight away, and it was damp. I just wanted to get out on track and play! It was a bit of a shame in the first session as we had something we wanted to test and it meant we had a much bigger work load for the second session. I would like to have stayed out and played on my Tyco BMW, but we had to try a few things which meant I had to come in and out a bit.
“We tried a different shock this afternoon and we are going to have a look through the data tonight. It looks like it was a lot better; we did a similar time to what we did at the test and I would say that conditions today was marginally worse as there was a wet patch going into Stowe and a few other areas. I am just enjoying riding today; it is the first day of the first race weekend of the year so we won’t be having any parties just yet but it is nice to top a session and we have a smiles on our faces so job’s a dream!”
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