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Down but not out; Hill tops free practice despite crash

Saturday, August 25 2012

The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship is back and defending champion Tommy Hill topped the times in the opening free practice session this morning despite a crash in the closing seconds as he pushed ahead of title rival Shane 'Shakey' Byrne in the final two minutes.

Byrne had taken the initial advantage from Hill, who continued to close the gap to his title rival whilst the top ten positions continued to shuffle before he was pushed to second in the final two minutes. Hill had been trying to improve his advantage but crashed out at Mansfield in the last minute unhurt.

As Hill and Byrne locked out the top two positions as Peter Hickman forced his way up to third in the final ten minutes at his home circuit to have an impressive first session for the Buildbase BMW team ahead of Lincoln's Alex Lowes and Samsung Honda's Michael Laverty completed the top five. The session had been red flagged in the opening stages when Robbin Harms and Abdulaziz Binladen crashed at Coppice. 

MSS Bathams Kawasaki had a positive start to their weekend with Danny Buchan and Michael Rutter ending the session in sixth and seventh respectively; whilst Quattro Plant Kawasaki's Karl Harris also broke into the top ten in eighth position ahead of Jon Kirkham and Tyco Suzuki's Josh Brookes.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Cadwell Park, free practice one:

  1. Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 1m:28.102s
  2. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.115s
  3. Peter Hickman (Buildbase BMW) +0.238s
  4. Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) +0.309s
  5. Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +0.600s
  6. Danny Buchan (MSS Bathams Kawasaki) +0.771s
  7. Michael Rutter (MSS Bathams Kawasaki) +0.806s
  8. Karl Harris (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +0.845s
  9. Jon Kirkham (Samsung Honda) +0.890s
  10. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.903s