Mallory Park British Superbikes: Cal Crutchlow tops opening session

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Cal Crutchlow left it late in the first British Superbike free practice session to top the leaderboard.

The 22-year-old, who sits third in the championship at the midway point in the season, put in a 56.698 with three minutes of the session left.

Crutchlow completed the first phase of his Mallory Park intentions, beating both Airwaves Ducati men who he trails in the title chase.

But until the Coventry-based Honda rider leapt to the top of the timesheets, it was the runaway Airwaves Ducati man Shane Byrne who looked to continue his British Superbike domination.

Byrne lead the 50-minute session from the 16th minute until Crutchlow dethroned him.

In the early stages of the session the real surprise was James Haydon who posted the fourth best time within the first ten minutes.

But just 12 minutes into his BSB comeback, Haydon had a minor spill at Gerard’s before rejoining the action.

With half an hour of the session left, Tena for Men rider Tristan Palmer jumped up to fifth fastest and remained amongst the top ten, finishing up 11th overall.

Byrne was the first rider to drop underneath the 57 minute bracket in the 19h minute with a 56.918 and was joined by the end of the session in the 56’s by Crutchlow and a storming Tom Sykes on the Suzuki GSX-R1000.

With just a minute left of free practice one, the Rizla Suzuki man knocked Byrne down to third with a 56.849, but Byrne retook the second spot at the flag with a 56.793.

The top performer at the end of the morning session was Hawk Kawasaki’s Scott Smart who lapped faster than the likes of Karl Harris and Michael Laverty to end up seventh.

Michael Rutter made use of his local knowledge, posting the fourth quickest time.

Mallory Park British Superbikes free practice one results:

1. Cal Crutchlow HM Plant Honda 56.698
2. Shane Byrne Airwaves Ducati 56.793
3. Tom Sykes Rizla Suzuki 56.849
4. Michael Rutter North West 200 Ducati 57.035
5. Leon Camier Airwaves Ducati 57.049
6. Leon Haslam HM Plant Honda 57.580
7. Scott Smart Hawk Kawasaki 57.598
8. Karl Harris RM Racing Yamaha 57.651
9. Michael Laverty Relentless Suzuki 57.694
10. Billy McConnell MSS Discovery Kawasaki 57.747
11. Tristan Palmer Tena for Men Honda 57.777
12. James Haydon MSS Discovery Kawasaki 57.910
13. John Laverty NW200 Buildbase Ducati 58.251
14. Gary Mason Quay Garage Honda 58.338
15. Simon Andrews Lloyds British Jentin Yamaha 58.405

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Rob Hull

By Rob Hull