Reigning British Superbike Champion Shane Byrne picked up where he left of a the end of the 2012 season by topping the time-sheets during the second Free Practice session at Brands Hatch today.
The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider set a 46.787s best despite Baltic conditions, severe wind chill and seven degree track temperatures.
Speaking to MCN, Byrne said: “From a grip point of view it was actually OK despite the cold. To be lapping in the 46’s is pretty good given that I was only doing low 46’s here last year.
"What it has highlighted is just how much work we still need to do. The front of the bike feels really good, but we’re still a bit off in terms of the rear and the overall balance of the bike. We need to make the rear as good as the front then I’d be really happy.”
Samsung Honda rider Alex Lowes completed 21 laps to finish the test second fastest. The 22 year old made a gearing change to his CBR1000RR towards the end of the session and declared himself satisfied with his day one performance.
Bathams Honda rider Tommy Bridewell claimed third, one place ahead of returning three time champions Ryuichi Kiyonari.
Early front runner James Ellison claimed fifth onboard his Milwaukee Yamaha ahead of Tyco Suzuki rider Josh Brookes.
1 Shane Byrne Kawasaki 46.787
2 Alex Lowes Honda 46.873
3 Tommy Bridewell Honda 47.096
4 Ryuichi Kiyonari Honda 47.311
5 James Ellison Yamaha 47.325
6 Josh Brookes Suzuki 47.361
7 James Westmoreland BMW 47.564
8 Karl Harris Kawasaki 47.571
9 Jakub Smrz Honda 47.748
10 Chris Walker Kawasaki 47.887