Defending champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne was back on top of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship free practice times today, narrowly holding off the attack from Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran as the fifth round of the season kicked off at Snetterton.
Byrne and O’Halloran shared the victories at the Norfolk circuit last year and as the weekend got underway the pair were instantly locking horns for the top position on the opening day on track ahead of tomorrow’s Datatag Qualifying session.
As the chequered flag fell on the second session, Byrne lapped inside the existing lap record to hold the advantage by 0.129s from O’Halloran, but the pair were being hunted down by Peter Hickman who surged into third position on the Smiths Racing BMW.
Knockhill double race winner Jake Dixon carried his momentum into the RAF Reserves Kawasaki team’s home round at Snetterton by setting the fourth fastest time to nudge championship leader Luke Mossey into fifth place by 0.050s.
Josh Brookes had been on top midway through the session before the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha suffered a technical problem which sidelined the 2015 champion for the remainder of the session; however he still held sixth position to remain ahead of rival Yamaha rider James Ellison.
Leon Haslam returned to the track following his crash that sidelined him at Knockhill to finish the opening day eighth fastest with Billy McConnell and Sylvain Guintoli completing a top ten that featured all six manufacturers.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Snetterton, Free Practice one result:
- Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 1m:48.353s
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +0.129s
- Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.411s
- Billy McConnell (Quattro Plant FS-3 Kawasaki) +0.457s
- Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +0.699s
- John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +0.866s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.934s
- Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +1.050s
- Jakub Smrz (Lloyd & Jones PR Racing BMW) +1.224s
- James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +1.331s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Snetterton, Free Practice 2 result:
- Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 1m:47.345s
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +0.413s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.487s
- Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +0.579s
- Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.629s
- Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +0.671s
- James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +0.715s
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.966s
- Billy McConnell (Quattro Plant FS-3 Kawasaki) +1.368s
- Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki) +1.468s
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