Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) topped the MCE British Superbike Championship timesheets after the second free practice session at Oulton Park today, the Lincolnshire rider just edging out Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) and Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki).
Rain all but wiped out the morning's opening session but with dry conditions all round the Cheshire venue in the afternoon, the riders took full advantage and Lowes' time of 1m36.547s saw him come out on top, 0.053s ahead of Byrne whilst Brookes was only two hundredths of a second further back. Early indications are that these three are seemingly a cut above the rest with another second on the lap times back to fourth placed rider James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha).
Indeed, fourth to tenth was split by only 0.8s with Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) next up in fifth followed by Tommy Bridewell (Bathams Honda) who was showing no ill effects from his Thruxton crash last time out. Peter Hickman (GBMoto Honda) put in a strong performance in seventh just ahead of last year's Oulton race winner Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Kawasaki).
Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) took ninth despite a spill late on at Druids with PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) rounding out the top ten but Ryuichi Kiyonari's misery continued with the Samsung Honda rider only managing a dismal 21st, some 3.4s off the pace.