After a difficult one-off WSB foray at Silverstone last weekend, HM Plant Honda duo Josh Brookes and Riyuichi Kiyonari bounced back to their expected form at Brands Hatch in preparation for this weekend’s triple header BSB round.
Brookes set the pace in this afternoon’s free practice session with a lap of 1:26.58 while Kiyo was third quickest with a lap of 1:26.87.
Any smile on Brookes’ face was wiped off though after the chequered flag when he and sorrymate.com Honda rider Chris Walker were fined for ignoring waved yellow and red flags displayed at Clarke Curve and continuing to do a further lap of the course while circuit vehicles were on track working.
Sandwiching Brookes and Kiyo was Tom Sykes, making a one-off return to domestic action from his World Superbike commitments on the Paul Bird motorsports factory Kawasaki.
Sykes had flown into the UK after testing in Japan and only arrived at the circuit ten minutes into the morning’s first free practice session. Sykes finished second overall, just 0.139s off Brookes’ best time.
Michael Rutter, who had run fastest in the morning session, was fourth fastest on the ridersmotorcycles.com Ducati.
Series leader Tommy Hill was struggling with both a sickness bug and handling problems with the Worx Suzuki and ended up a distant 19th on the leaderboard, some 1.611secs down Brookes’ best time.
Top ten free practice times
1 J Brookes HM Plant Honda 1m 26.582s
2 T Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team 1m 26.721s
3 R Kiyonari HM Plant Honda 1m 26.817s
4 M Rutter RidersMotorcycles.com Ducati 1m 26.844s
5 M Laverty Relentless Suzuki 1m 27.060s
6 A Seeley Relentless Suzuki 1m 27.062s
7 J Ellison Swan Honda 1m 27.113s
8 Y Kagayama Worx Crescent Suzuki 1m 27.212s
9 G Mason MSS Colchester Kawasaki 1m 27.405s
10 I Lowry Kawasaki Racing Team 1m 27.672s