Leon Camier, leader of the ViSK.com British Superbike Championship, is expecting a fight on his hands with local favourite Stuart Easton in the sixth round at Knockhill.
Riding the Airwaves Yamaha, Camier has won all but two of the races so far, and he powered into the short, tight Fife circuit in confident mood on Friday after his sixth place as a wild-card rider in last Sunday's World Superbike event at Donington Park.
Camier packed in 25 laps, the best of which was 49.492secs, just enough to head off the determined challenges of Easton who closed his Hydrex Honda to within 0.078secs during the morning session, but, rain in the afternoon ended the hopes of the Flying Scot of improving his time.
“We've been working away with the suspension and settings,” explained Easton, adding “we hard planned work with our tyres in the second session.
“I like to think that I can do well here, and to win here for the first time in Superbikes would be the icing on the cake,” said the former Supersport title winner who is still chasing maiden victory in the top flight, having come close twice already this season.
“There is not much in it in terms of lap times now, but it will get closer, and like the last round at Snetterton, this will be a big fight,” added Easton who goes into the races 22 points adrift of James Ellison who ran his Airwaves Yamaha fifth fastest overall, a third of a second down.
Glen Richards nosed his HM Plant Honda into third place on the leaderboard with a fast lap of 49.668secs early on in the second session before the rains intensified to be running a tenth up on his team-mate Josh Brookes, who after a run of three consecutive third places, is aiming for better things on his first visit to this circuit.
Simon Andrews maintained his recent run of good form by posting sixth best time, 49.830secs, aboard the MSS Colchester Kawasaki, running marginally faster than four times former runner-up in the series Chris Walker riding the Motorpoint Henderson Yamaha.
Ian Lowry put in a time of 50.075secs on the Relentless Suzuki to be eighth best from John Laverty riding the Buildbase Kawasaki while Michael Rutter, despite a couple of tumbles, completed the top ten on the Worx Crescent Suzuki.
Gary Mason, the runaway leader of the Mirror.co.uk Cup – the race within a race for Independent team and riders – led the times in that class with a lap in 50.396secs on the Quay Garage Honda. Tommy Bridewell, riding the Team NB Suzuki, was 0.463secs, down on him, with Tom Tunstall third in class on the Hardinge Doodson Honda.