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Brookes on top after opening practice ahead of race one at Brands Hatch

Josh Brookes took charge after the opening two Bennetts British Superbike Championship free practice sessions at Brands Hatch today (Friday) to lead the times in changing conditions ahead of tomorrow’s opening race of the triple-header decider weekend.

At the beginning of the second free practice, there were areas of the track still to dry and it wasn’t until the closing stages that the times began to tumble. Christian Iddon had set the original benchmark for Tyco BMW, but a small crash at Surtees had sidelined him for a short time. The team got Iddon back on track and he was able to continue the momentum to end the session third fastest.

As the final 15 minutes of the session approached Brookes had fired himself to the top of the times ahead of Iddon with James Ellison and Gino Rea holding the top three positions, but in the final ten minutes Peter Hickman and Danny Buchan had moved to within striking distance of Brookes to hold top three positions.

A light shower in the final three minutes remaining meant Brookes maintained his position at the top of the times for Be Wiser Ducati, heading off Buchan who had moved into second and Iddon.

Brookes said: “The first session was obviously wet all the way through, it did dry towards the end but not enough to change tyres so we got a good feeling for wet conditions. It was very cold so it made it difficult to even set what was considered to be fast wet times, but it was the same for everybody.

“Then this afternoon it was quite nice that we actually got some dry track time. I mean it wasn’t fully dry all the way round, but it was dry enough that we could run slick tyres which is ideal considering that we were expecting rain so it was valuable.

“The bike felt okay in those conditions, we’ve got the set-up that I ran here earlier in the year, so we just tried something a little different this afternoon and we’ve got what feels like two strong options for tomorrow. I think I’m just building towards the qualifying and first race tomorrow.”

Championship leader Scott Redding leapt into fourth place in the final stages, 0.991s adrift of his Be Wiser Ducati teammate with Ellison holding fifth to keep Hickman behind him at the chequered flag.

Ben Currie was eighth fastest for Quattro Plant – JG Speedfit Kawasaki with Rea and Joe Francis completing the top ten.

Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Free Practice 2 result:

  1. Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati) 1:28.873s
  2. Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +0.038s
  3. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.437s
  4. Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.991s
  5. James Ellison (OMG Racing Suzuki) +1.000s
  6. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +1.440s
  7. Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati) +1.626s
  8. Ben Currie (Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +1.782s
  9. Gino Rea (Bike Devil Sweda MV Augusta) +2.085s
  10. Joe Francis (Lloyd & Jones Bowker BMW) +2.247s

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