Shane Byrne led the way as the third round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship got underway in glorious conditions at Oulton Park
However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for the six-time champion as he struggled with chatter in the final free practice session, which was cut short by five minutes after a red flag in the closing stages meaning many riders were unable to rehearse a qualifying run.
Byrne’s time of 1’34.868 placed him 0.155 seconds ahead of an improving Josh Brookes, who ended the day second quickest on the McAMS Yamaha.
Leon Haslam was third quickest on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki with Jake Dixon fourth and Taylor Mackenzie a surprise fifth. Series leader Bradley Ray rounded out the top six.
Glenn Irwin, who had a small tip off at Lodge in the morning session, was seventh while Luke Mossey, Danny Buchan and Peter Hickman rounded out the top six.
It was a tough day for local star Christian Iddon, who will miss the rest of the weekend after crashing out at Britten's chicane early in the second session and fracturing his hand.
Another faller at Britten's was Jakub Smrz, while Mason Law also fell during the session bringing out the second and final red flag. The five minutes lost in FP2 will be added on to FP3 tomorrow afternoon.