Bradley Ray led the way as the ninth round of the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship got underway at Silverstone today.
Riders were presented with a new challenge as they took to the track on the 1.6-mile national circuit instead of the 3.6-mile Grand Prix circuit they are familiar with.
The day started in dramatic fashion with a gigantic highside for series leader Leon Haslam, who was flung from his JG Speedfit Kawasaki at high speed as he flicked into the left hander of Brooklands early in the first session. Remarkably Haslam was ok, suffering just a bang to his ankle and a cut finger, and back out in the second session.
The McAMS Yamaha duo of Josh Brookes and Tarran Mackenzie led the way in the opening session with the Aussie setting a quickest time of 54’395, but times would tumble as the afternoon session got underway.
Ray took control early in the session and kept improving his time to stay top of the pile come the end of the extended practice. The Buildbase Suzuki rider’s quickest lap of 53’876 placed him 0.127 seconds ahead of closest rival Jake Dixon.
Dixon had initially been struggling, but found time in the closing moments of the session to go second ahead of Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon.
Jason O’Halloran, who had been a dismal 18th this morning, improved to fourth in FP2 for Honda Racing ahead of the leading Ducati of Glenn Irwin.
Battling on after his FP1 crash, Leon Haslam was sixth quickest for JG Speedfit Kawasaki ahead of Peter Hickman while Gino Rea put in an impressive showing to go eighth for OMG Suzuki.
Tarran Mackenzie was ninth quickest with Michael Laverty rounding out the top ten.
Having topped the morning practice, FP2 proved tough for Brookes who missed a large part of the session after retiring with a terminal technical problem with the McAMS Yamaha.