Sylvain Guintoli brought the opening day of action for the 2009 British Superbike Championship season opener to a close in style by claiming the fastest time in third free practice.

The Frenchman was one of just eleven riders to make it out onto the Brands Hatch circuit in the afternoon after weather conditions deteriorated to bring on drizzle and dampen the track.

Nonetheless, Guintoli braved it out to set a best time some five seconds slower than the pace setters earlier in the day.

Mirror.co.uk Cup rider Tim Bourne was second fastest, ahead of Steve Plater, Julien Da Costa and Atsushi Watanabe.

Free practice resumes tomorrow at 10.00am.