Sunny skies greeted the British Superbike paddock for the official test at Snetterton today, with the majority of the paddock present and 43 riders on track in the open 1000cc (and top 10 Supersport) sessions.
|Smrz pulled out a last minute wonder lap to go fastest
Photo: Jamie Morris Photography
Session one early this morning finished with Alex Lowes on top ahead of championship leader Shane Byrne and Jacob Smrz. However, Lowes didn’t spend the hour long session unchallenged with Byrne moving into the top spot at the half way point just 0.033s ahead of Lowes. The Samsung Honda rider didn’t sit back and was soon back in first position with 20 minutes of the session remaining. Padgetts Honda’s Jacob Smrz rounded out the top three ahead of James Ellison on his Milwaukee Yamaha and Ryuichi Kiyonari in fifth. Lowes’ time of 1.50.210 kept him ahead of his rivals and 0.155s in front of Byrne.
The pre-lunchtime session two began with few BSB riders on track, and the Superstock 1000 and Supersport classes keen to be out in the first twenty minutes of the session. James Ellison was the first BSB rider to go fastest setting a 1.51.936 ahead of GBmoto team-mates Dan Linfoot and Peter Hickman. It didn’t take Alex Lowes long to get back up at the sharp end with a lap time of 1.50.96 just before the session was red flagged and paused for seven minutes. Following the re-opening of the track, Byrne shot straight up into 2nd position, 0.462s behind Lowes and with eight minutes of the session to go the Londoner went fastest by 0.232s, finishing the session on the top of the timing sheets. Despite being fast in the opening session, Kiyonari fell down the order in session two, sitting in 17th place and 3.153s off the pace and eventually finished the session in 14th position. James Westmoreland rounded out the top three on his Buildbase BMW, one place ahead of Jacob Smrz who had a fast pace all session.
The third and final session of the day began with usual order resumed and Alex Lowes being the first BSB rider into the top five, and setting a time of 1.51.269 not long after. In the opening ten minutes Lowes’ Samsung Honda teammate Kiyonari shot into fourth position, 1.109s back of Lowes’ time. Byrne then came out of the box and flew to the top of the sheets only to be bettered by Lowes again mere seconds later. Lowes’ times continued to tumble, eventually down to a 1.49.100, however his time still sat just over half a second off Byrne’s lap record. Slipping down the order, Byrne was in fourth, before heading back up the order into second with 5 minutes to remaining, 0.253s behind Lowes. One final push saw James Ellison move into third and it looked as though the top three had secured their places once the flag went out. A last lap dash from former WSBK rider, Jacob Smrz stole 1st position off Lowes as the flag went out with a time of 1.48.915, edging closer to Byrne’s lap record. James Westmoreland rounded out the top five, ahead of Chris Walker in 6th and Ryuichi Kiyonari in an improved 7th position.
To see a full list of times click here.