Tommy Hill began his quest to put his difficult Mallory Park weekend firmly behind him in fine style by topping first free practice for the sixth round of the British Superbike Championship at Knockhill.

Hill saw his advantage in the overall standings slashed by Josh Brookes after scoring a solitary eighth position around the Leicestershire circuit, but went some way to make amends by leading the way in Scotland.

Moving to the front in the final ten minutes, Hill edged out Michael Rutter by just under two tenths of a second, the Ridersmotorcycles.com Ducati rider competing alone this weekend following team-mate Martin Jessopp's injury.

Currently on a run of five consecutive podium finishes, Michael Laverty was third fastest for Relentless Suzuki, ahead of local favourite Stuart Easton and double Mallory winner Ryuichi Kiyonari.

Now just four points behind Hill in the standings, last year's Knockhill pole sitter Brookes was sixth, ahead of Alastair Seeley, Chris Walker and Simon Andrews. James Ellison, meanwhile, continued his steady progress with a top ten showing in tenth.