Tommy Hill opened up the first day of practice for the eighth round of the 2011 MCE British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch with the fastest time, just ahead of impressive EVO standout Graeme Gowland.

The Swan Yamaha rider was in good form throughout the 30 minute session, which was held around the shorter Indy configuration, unlike qualifying and the races which will take place on the Grand Prix layout.

Behind Hill, EVO rider Gowland was an excellent second aboard the WFR Honda, the former British Supersport rider returning to the circuit where he crashed heavily earlier in the year, putting him out for the following two events.

Series leader Shane Byrne was third fastest, ahead of Hill's team-mate Michael Laverty, while Josh Brookes rounded out the top five.

Making his debut around the short Brands Hatch layout, Joan Lascorz was a threatening sixth fastest aboard the World Superbike Kawasaki ZX-10R, four tenths down on pace setter Hill. Team-mate Broc Parkes, who returns to Superbike action this weekend as the last minute replacement for the injured Tom Sykes, was 20th fastest.

Chris Walker followed his Kawasaki counterpart in seventh, ahead of Rapid Bathams Ducati duo eighth and ninth, while Gary Mason rounded out the top ten positions. Title contender John Hopkins did not set a time on the Samsung Crescent Suzuki.

Two official practice sessions around the GP circuit will precede qualifying, before the first race of the weekend.


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