Karl Harris set the pace during both of Friday’s free practice sessions at Oulton Park today in the final round of the MCE British Superbike Championship.
With a new spec engine build for the weekend, Harris set the fastest time of the day on the SMT Honda of 1:36.27.
Harris scored his best results of the year with two seconds at Oulton earlier this year. That was on the Hydrex Honda. But the Sorrymate.com SMT bike is very similar, apart from the new Chris Mehew built engine.
Harris said: “The new engine is awesome. It just gives so much more drive. After Silverstone, where we had a lot of little problems, everything is going well and I’m aiming to keep the momentum going tomorrow. ”
Tommy Hill was second quickest – only a tenth of a second of Harris’ pace. Hill’s Hydrex Honda was running with an improved traction control set-up.
Hill’s team-mate Stuart Easton was third quickest and Relentless by TAS Suzuki’s Ian Lowry completed to the top four.
Recently crowned BSB champion Leon Camier crashed on his eighth lap in the afternoon session after he grounded the engine case on the kerb at Britten’s. He was whacked in the claf muscle by his bike but was other wise unhurt and ended up 14th on the timesheet. Team-mate James Ellison was seventh quickest, running the more basic ‘wheelbarrow’ spare bike for much of the time.
The afternoon session was cut short by two minutes when James Hillier crashed in the fast left before Druids. Hillier was making his debut on the Buildbase Kawasaki and was clocked on his telemetry at 157mph at the point when his front end followed, but he survived the crash unscathed
Top ten free practice times
1 K Harris Sorrymate.com SMT Honda 1m 36.277s
2 T Hill Hydrex Honda 1m 36.384s
3 S Easton Hydrex Honda 1m 36.777
4 I Lowry Relentless Suzuki 1m 36.874s
5 L Camier Airwaves Yamaha 1m 36.884s
6 S Andrews MSS Colchester Kawasaki 1m 37.214s
7 C Walker Motorpoint Henderson Yamaha 1m 37.423s
8 J Ellison Airwaves Yamaha 1m 37.445s
9 G Richards HM Plant Honda 1m 37.650s
10 J Brookes HM Plant Honda 1m 37.7