Christian Iddon sets free practice pace ahead of opening Silverstone race
It’s crunch time at Silverstone as nine riders go head-to-head in the triple header round to decide the six riders in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship Showdown and it was Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon who fired himself to the top of the free practice times today, holding off Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne.
Byrne had topped the opening free practice session from Iddon with Josh Brookes in third but in the afternoon the leading pair switched positions ahead of tomorrow’s Datatag Qualifying and opening race.
In the faster second session Iddon had set the early pace for Tyco BMW, but defending champion Byrne was fighting back after waiting until the final 25 minutes to leave pitlane in the wet conditions, taking the top spot with just under 15 minutes of the free practice two remaining.
In the final minutes though Iddon had put himself back ahead of his Be Wiser Ducati rival, with Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha’s Josh Brookes moving into third despite a crash at Abbey, although he was able to return to the garage. The Australian goes into tomorrow’s first race holding fifth place in the all-important standings.
Another one of the Showdown six contenders to crash out was Leon Haslam; the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider crashed at Luffield on the final lap, not improving on his fifth place as he bids to close the lead to Byrne in the standings, with Tommy Bridewell having a strong session in fourth place for Team WD-40 Kawasaki.
Michael Laverty was the leading McAMS Yamaha in sixth place, holding off James Westmoreland with Showdown six contenders Jake Dixon and James Ellison in eighth and ninth respectively. John Hopkins completed the top ten for Moto Rapido Ducati, pushing Jason O’Halloran and Peter Hickman outside the top ten into eleventh and twelfth places respectively.
Luke Mossey was 13th fastest on his return from his Thruxton injury with the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Silverstone, Free Practice one results:
- Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 2m:28.236s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +1.181s
- Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +2.177s
- Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +3.540s
- James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +4.304s
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +4.676s
- John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +6.449s
- Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +6.818s
- James Westmoreland (Gearlink Kawasaki) +7.068s
- Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) +7.371s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Silverstone, Free Practice two results:
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) 2:26.104s
- Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +1.521s
- Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +2.239s
- Tommy Bridewell (Team WD-40 Kawasaki) +2.527s
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +3.296s
- Michael Laverty (McAMS Yamaha) +3.400s
- James Westmoreland (Gearlink Kawasaki) +3.701s
- Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) +4.595s
- James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +4.619s
- John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +4.906s
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Fastest rider in free practice
“It feels good to end the day fastest, but we know it is free practice and it is tomorrow and Sunday that really count. We had quite difficult conditions today, especially this morning when we were second but it was better this afternoon.
“The Tyco BMW feels good; it feels like a long time since we ran in the wet conditions so the team did a good job because I feel pretty happy. I was able to push on a bit more this afternoon and if it wasn’t for coming in for fuel, I probably wouldn’t have come in as I was having that much fun riding it!
“We have a busy and important day tomorrow; I think we need to hammer in the points and then tomorrow evening will be when everyone tries to make a plan to make that top six on Sunday. There isn’t much between myself, Jason [O’Halloran], Josh [Brookes], Luke [Mossey] and [Jake Dixon]. When you have that many riders going against each other it gets really interesting – we are battling against them to get into the top six.
“We will go out and do the best job we can tomorrow and that is all we can do. I can’t wait.”