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Shane Byrne has heralded the start of the fifth MCE British Superbike Championship round at Knockhill by setting the pace in first free practice around the Scottish circuit.

Fresh from his success at the Silverstone 200, a support event to last week's British Grand Prix, Byrne was in good form to lead for much of the 45 minute session, the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider eventually concluding with a best of 49.510secs.

Tommy Hill was just a tenth further adrift in second aboard the Swan Yamaha, with Snetterton race winner Michael Laverty going third and Tyco Suzuki's Josh Brookes making it four different manufacturers in the top four.

Tristan Palmer, who has scored just a single point on the GBmoto Honda so far this season, was an impressive fifth best, ahead of Alastair Seeley and Luca Scassa, the Padgetts Honda rider showing well on his first outing around the twisting Scottish circuit.

WFR Honda's Alex Lowes, Supersonic BMW's Tommy Bridewell and Padgetts Honda's Ian Lowry completed the top ten positions.

Elsewhere, Chris Walker's participation at Knockhill looks to be in doubt after the Oulton Park race winner suffered a fall at Clarks and was taken to the medical centre. According to the official BSB news feed, the Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki rider is being assessed for fractures in both ankles.