John Hopkins maintained his place at the top of the British Superbike Championship timesheets at Silverstone as he continued to comfortably out-pace his title rivals.

The American, who leads the British Superbike standings after his double win at Donington Park, once again trailed Tommy Hill and Michael Laverty initially, but a series of fast laps in the closing stages would see him establish a sizeable advantage of six tenths.

Hill, meanwhile, held second after surpassing Laverty, the Swan Yamaha pair the only other riders to break 2mins 07secs.

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Jon Kirkham, who like Hopkins raced at the Silverstone World Superbike round earlier this year, was fourth best, ahead of title challenger Shane Byrne and the in-form Peter Hickman on the Tyco Honda.

Having stunned by being third quickest in FP1, Graeme Gowland was impressive again on the way to seventh, his feat matched by Michael Rutter in eighth, the Ducati rider fighting his way through the pain of his rib injury.

Alex Lowes kept up his top ten pace in ninth aboard the Motorpoint Yamaha, while Josh Brookes sneaked into the leading positions in tenth. Ryuichi Kiyonari, the final title challenger, was 11th.