Reigning champion Shane Byrne set the pace during Friday practice for the fifth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at a scorching Snetterton.

The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki star put in a best lap of 1m 48.637s during the second session to finish with a sizeable 0.592s advantage over Tyco Suzuki's Josh Brookes.

"I love riding my bike but at the moment it feels like I am sitting on top of it rather than riding it," said Byrne.

"I hope to get that sorted so that I am really riding it in the races on Sunday. We have a package that will work, but we have to get to the bottom of it first.

"It is a case of trying and trying; we have persevered and we are making progress but there is still work to do and there is no doubt that we have made steps forwards," added Byrne who is aiming to take the BSB crown for a record fourth time.

Alex Lowes, who had led the morning session for Samsung Honda, was pushed back to third place in the afternoon (+0.722s). Lowes is determined to fight back this weekend after a crash at Knockhill ended his run of six consecutive podium finishes.

Team-mate and former triple champion Ryuichi Kiyonari made a solid start to the weekend with fourth overall (+0.784s). James Westmoreland made it four manufacturers inside the top five on his Buildbase BMW, with Padgetts Honda's Jakub Smrz in sixth.

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