Shane Byrne set the pace in the opening free practice session on the Brands Hatch GP circuit on Saturday morning, his time of 1m26.457s giving him a 0.456s advantage over Alex Lowes.
The cool, cloudy conditions were far removed from the tropical temperatures of late - indeed, there were a few spots of rain in the air - but Byrne was in command throughout at a circuit he's dominated at in recent times. James Westmoreland's fine form of late continued with the third fastest time just ahead of James Ellison with veteran Chris Walker in a fine fifth place.
Ryucihi Kiyonari's early season blip looks to be well behind him as he set the sixth fastest time, one place ahead of Josh Brookes who won't have been happy to have been 1.1s adrift of Byrne. He fared better than team-mate PJ Jacobsen though who pulled in after his sighting lap and sat out the remainder of the session.
Jon Kirkham was another rider to suffer from technical problems but he went back out to set the ninth fastest time, behind Honda rider Jakub Smrz but ahead of similarly mounted Dan Linfoot.
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