First blood to Josh Brookes as Showdown opens at Oulton Park
Josh Brookes threw down the gauntlet to his MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship rivals after the opening free practice sessions at Oulton Park, topping the times by 0.177s from closest rival Jake Dixon with Showdown spoiler Christian Iddon completing the top three.
In the early stages of the session defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne led the way, but as the times tumbled in the final 20 minutes, the Be Wiser Ducati rider dropped outside of the top ten, finishing eleventh fastest and the sixth of the Title Fighters.
The positions at the top were changing but as the chequered flag flew it was Brookes who held the advantage from Dixon onboard the RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki team. Iddon had set the fastest time in wet conditions and the Tyco BMW was third fastest at his home circuit this afternoon, just ahead of fellow Showdown Spoiler John Hopkins.
Leon Haslam was the third fastest Title Fighter in fifth place, setting an equal time to Jason O’Halloran on the Honda Racing Fireblade in sixth place. McAMS Yamaha’s James Ellison then split the Title Fighters in seventh place, just 0.002s ahead of Peter Hickman for the Smiths Racing BMW team.
Bradley Ray was ninth fastest to make it all six manufacturers inside the top ten, just ahead of Tommy Bridewell. Luke Mossey and Glenn Irwin held twelfth and thirteenth positions respectively.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Free Practice 2:
- Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 1m:34.557s
- Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) +0.177s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.461s
- John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +0.508s
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.665s
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +0.665s
- James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +0.729s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.731s
- Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +0.800s
- Tommy Bridewell (Team WD-40 Kawasaki) +0.803s
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Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha
Fastest rider of the day at Oulton Park
“I struggled at the round here earlier in the year and you can’t be in that position, you have to be on the game in every session and every race. We have made progress today and that is not a surprise as a lot has happened since we were here earlier in the year and we have made improvements.
“I am quite happy with the progress we have made and I don’t feel that my laps today were as tidy as they could have been so there is definitely more to come. To be that close to the lap record and know we still have improvements to make is a comforting sign.”