Alex Lowes set the pace in Free Practice 2 this afternoon (Friday) at Assen ahead of Sunday’s opening round of the three-round Showdown which will decide the outcome of this year’s MCE British Superbike Championship.
Lowes clocked a time 1:37.893 on the Team WFR Honda, 0.282s quicker that closest rival Josh Brookes and said: “Now I’m in the Showdown I’m much more relaxed and just aim to enjoy the final three rounds.”
Brookes overcame chatter in FP1 and early in FP2 after some chassis changes to his Tyco TAS Suzuki. He set the quickest time in FP2 but stopped early when the crew discovered a minor oil weep on the GSX-R1000.
Shane Byrne showed no sign of the shoulder injury he sustained at Cadwell Park when he posted third quickest time on the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki, with a 1:38.465, while fellow Showdown competitor Michael Laverty was fourth quickest with a 1:38.76 on his Samsung Honda.
Tommy Hill crashed the Swan Yamaha with 14m 30s left to go in the session when he was fifth quickest, but then dropped to ninth overall - his 1:39.154 only marginally quicker than his FP1 time of 1:39.555. He was unhurt.
The other Showdown competitor, Tommy Bridwell, was 12th quickest in FP2 with a 1:39.416 on the Supersonic BMW while his team-mate Patrick Muff posted a 1: 39.075 the seventh quickest time.
Big surprises of FP2 included Jakub Smrz who was fifth in his debut on the Splitlath Redmond Aprilia with a time of 1:38.843 and Barry Burrell who posted a 1:38.964 on the Buildbase BMW to complete the top six.
MCE British Superbike, Assen Free Practice 2:
Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) 1:37.893s
Josh Brookes (Tyco TAS Suzuki) +0.282s
Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.572s
Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +0.868s
Jakub Smrz (Splitlath Redmond Aprilia) +0.950s
Barry Burrell (Buildbase BMW) +1.071s
Patric Muff (Supersonic BMW) +1.182s
Luca Scassa (Padgetts Honda) +1.204s
Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +1.261s
Chris Walker (Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki) +1.370s