Championship leader Shane Byrne finished day on at Knockhill at the top of the timing sheets after strong competition from Ryuichi Kiyonari.
|Byrne held off Kiyonari to take top spot
Photo: MCE BSB
In a close opening free practise this morning, Buildbase BMW’s Kiyonari set the fastest lap this morning at a track that he secured two podium finishes at last season. The Japanese rider was able to hold off flying Byrne to set a time of 48.417s just 0.005s ahead. In the dry conditions championship challenger Josh Brookes was down in sixth position but just 0.632s back from Kiyonari, as his Milwaukee Yamaha team-mate Tommy Bridewell finished the session in fourth. Scottish rider Stuart Easton finished this morning in third at his home track.
Kiyonari started FP2 as he left off and sat at the top of the timing screens in the afternoon session. However he was eventually knocked off the top spot by Byrne on the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki in the closing minutes with a time of 48.243s. Brookes improved his pace and moved into the top three, ahead of Easton in fourth. Just over half a second covered the top six in this afternoons session.
Byrne explained: “We are happy to be fastest but we have been in a situation where normally I love riding the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki, but today I only liked riding it. There are some areas we are working hard on as a team so we are ready for qualifying tomorrow because I didn’t feel that I could push hard enough. We have some big plans!”
Free practice one:
1: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) 48.417s
2: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.005s
3: Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.504s
4: Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.610s
5: John Hopkins (Tyco Suzuki) +0.611s
6: Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.632s
Free practice two:
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 48.243s
2: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) +0.254s
3: Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.293s
4: Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.409s
5: Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.468s
6: John Hopkins (Tyco Suzuki) +0.562s