The first free practice session for round six of the ViSK.com British Superbike got under way at Knockhill in Scotland, in dry sunny conditions. Normal service was resumed by Leon Camier on the Airwaves Yamaha lapping in 49.492secs a second off the lap record of 48.474secs.
The main challenge came from Stuart Easton aboard his Hydrex Honda; the talented Scott is determined to take the fight to the Yamahas this weekend at his home circuit. The two swapped places between first and second during the session with Camier finally settling on top.
James Ellison, team-mate to Camier left it until the last five minutes of the session to jump into third place relegating MSS Colchester Kawasaki’s Simon Andrews to fourth place.
The first of the HM Plant Honda’s over the line was in the hands of Josh Brookes who took fifth. Motorpoint Henderson Yamaha’s Chris Walker was in the top five for most of the session finishing in sixth place ahead of the second HM Plant machine of Glen Richards.
The first Suzuki home was the black Relentless Suzuki of Ian Lowry. The rookie is gradually learning his new class and is hoping to step on the podium very soon.
Karl Harris braved an upset stomach to take part in the session and placed his Hydrex Honda in ninth position. Competiting the top ten was Worx Suzuki’s Michael Rutter who fell at the hairpin during the last three minutes of free practice.
Gary Mason suffered a technical problem midway through the session but finished in 13th place to be the first Cup contender home.
Colin Wright, Airwaves Yamaha Team Manager said: “It was a steady start as we are just coming down from Donington World Superbikes. We are concentrating on getting consistent laps in. Leon has done that and James is on the pace but he needs more laps at that pace. We’ve not made any major changes just familiarisation with the circuit. We are all tired after Donington but pleased overall. Leon scored more points than a lot of the top ten regulars. Shame about the crashes as the results would have been better.”
Stuart Easton said: “Not too bad a start, it’s nice to ride Knockhill in the dry – bonus. It is going to be close and it will get closer over the weekend and it will just turn into a big fight at the end. We are working on setup and we have different specification shocks for this afternoon and we’ll make some mods on the front and see where that brings us. We’ve got a different tyre to try too; we just want to work through various things, that is what practice for. Explore every avenue.”
Michael Rutter said: “We had a bit of a problem with the number one bike so I didn’t use it. Went out on the number two bike instead and put in about 30 laps just getting into it. We altered the suspension to try and stop at the hairpin but it didn’t work and I just slipped off. It was a slow one so I’m ok and I’ve just damaged the fairing. For the Next session we should have the number one bike up and running and we’ll see how we go.”
Free practice one results:
1. Leon Camier
2. Stuart Easton
3. James Ellison
4. Simon Andrews
5. Josh Brookes
6. Chris Walker
7. Glen Richards
8. Ian Lowry
9. Karl Harris
10. Michael Rutter