Shane Byrne led the way as round five of the 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship got underway at Snetterton.
The Be Wiser Ducati man clocked his quickest ever lap of the Norfolk circuit to place 0.413sec ahead of Honda’s Jason O’Halloran, who continues to show signs of improvement on the 2017 CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.
“The bike worked pretty well from the word go this morning,” Byrne said. “We had the test here the other week but it was difficult because it was so windy, it would have been easy to make a stupid mistake so perhaps I didn’t commit as hard as I should have.
"We had a decent base to start from and we’ve chipped away and chipped away. We started the session on old tyres and worked on some things to make sure we were going the right direction. By the time we’d finished with the tyre we’d done 20 laps and then we put a new tyre in and I set my quickest ever lap of the circuit. We’ve a few more things to chip away at tomorrow, a few areas we can improve in so we’ll see what happens."
Peter Hickman was third quickest for Smiths BMW, just 0.074sec off O’Halloran’s time.
Double winner last time out Jake Dixon was fourth quickest ahead of series leader Luke Mossey, with Josh Brookes sixth fastest despite having missed most of the session after an engine blow-up with 15 mins to go.
James Ellison was seventh for McAMS Yamaha ahead of Leon Haslam, who returns from the neck injury he sustained at Knockhill.
Billy McConnell rounded out a strong day for the Quattro Plant FS-3 Kawasaki team in ninth, ahead of Sylvain Guintoli who improved on his FP1 time by almost two seconds to move into the top ten.
Tyco BMW’s new recruit Andy Reid continued to get used to the S1000RR Superbike as he knocked 2.4 seconds off his time between sessions to place 19th quickest, while Josh Elliott who also makes his superbike debut for the Northern Irish team was 21st.
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