Michael Laverty topped Friday afternoon’s free practice at Knokchill today in preparation for the sixth round of the MCE British Superbike Champiomnship at Knockhill on Sunday.
The Relentless Suzuki rider, who scored his first-ever BSB podium finish at the Fife circuit five years ago, topped the free practice leaderboard with a lap of 48.87secs – three tenths quicker than his nearest rival Josh Brookes.
Laverty said: “We had a difficult start to the day, coming here with out Mallory set-up but we made some changes in the afternoon and the bike fels good.
Brookes will start Sunday’s races just four points down on series leader Tommy Hill and said: “Second is not where I want to be, I obviously want to be fastest, but we know now that having done the work in these opening sessions we can refine the bike with what we have learnt and then be in a strong position for qualifying.”
Brookes finished just a tenth of a second head of Scot Stuart Easton who is hoping to put the past two disappointing rounds behind him and pick up his championship bid this weekend on home soil.
Mallory double winner Ryuichi Kiyonari was fourth fastest, only 0.001s down on Easton, while Michael Rutter aboard the RidersMotorcycles.com Ducati held onto fifth from series leader Hill who was ultimately only 0.49s down on provisional pole man Laverty.
Superbike free practice
1 Michael Laverty (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 48.873s
2 Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +0.332s
3 Stuart Easton (Swan Honda) +0.435s
4 Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +0.461s
5 Michael Rutter (Ridersmotorcycles.com Ducati) +0.462s
6 Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +0.497s
7 Tommy Bridewell (Quay Garage Honda) +0.550s
8 Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +0.588s
9 Chris Walker (CW Racing Suzuki) +0.625s
10 John Laverty (Buildbase Kawasaki) +0.889s
Superbike lap record
Shane Byrne, Suzuki, 48.474secs, 94.41mph (2006)